‘It is always good to be reminded what Christians, Muslims and Jews have in common. I love the idea of food being the basis of intercultural exchange’
— audience testimonial from an impact event (‘Noah’s Pudding’)
Our aim to create connected communities is particularly timely. We seek to intervene in the contemporary context of conflicts in the Middle East but also in the UK between different religious/ethnic groups about the Middle East. Our goal is to stimulate dialogues on transcultural exchange and also to proliferate transcultural dialogue, in the participants and through them to further beneficiaries. Our impact work is targeted at diverse audiences: cross-ethnic/-religious/secular; and also at different levels of education/general public.
We are working with several partner organisations including: The Dialogue Society, The Armenian Institute, Exiled Writers Ink!, and Sephardi Voices UK. We are keen to hear from comparable organisations and individuals who may be interested in working with us. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Dialogue Society provides an ideal fit for the transcultural goals and post-Ottoman focus of our research project. A registered charity established in London in 1999 with the aim of advancing social cohesion by connecting communities, the Dialogue Society empowers people to engage and contribute to the development of ideas on dialogue and community-building. Neither a religious nor an ethnic organisation, the Dialogue Society was founded by British Muslims of Turkish background inspired by the teachings and example of post-Ottoman Muslim scholar and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. As the Dialogue Society continues in practice the transcultural and interfaith ideals of Ottoman Cosmopolitanism, we hope this partnership will provide us with effective structures for community outreach and activities. We have recently worked with the Dialogue Society on an impact project to promote transcultural exchange through food in three different spaces in Leeds — namely, a school; Leeds University campus; and the city centre. With the help of student impact interns funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, we drew on the traditions of cosmopolitanism in the former Ottoman Empire to stimulate dialogue across cultures. See our event page for ‘Noah’s Pudding’, for more details.
The Armenian Institute: ‘The Armenian Institute is dedicated to making Armenian culture and history a living experience through innovative programmes, educational resources, workshops, academic events, exhibits and performances’. On 12 April 2014, we collaborated with the Armenian Institute in an Ottoman Armenians Workshop entitled ‘A Return Through Art: Exploring Absence and Memory’. For details of the event, click here; for a full audio recording, see our audio files page and click here.
Exiled Writers Ink!: ‘Exiled Writers Ink provides a platform for the work of artists living in exile in the UK and mainland Europe through performance, publishing and training activities. We believe that the literature, art and culture of exile can provide a focus for communication and integration throughout society, and act as a force for positive change’. On 22 June 2013, Exiled Writers Ink, in conjunction with the Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Network, organised an afternoon of memoirs in dialogue and oud music at the Exile Lit Cafe. For full event details, click here.
Sephardi Voices: ‘The aim of Sephardi Voices UK is to ensure that the testimonies and stories of the Jews from North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran who came to the UK in different waves of emigration, will be recorded and documented and that they will become an integral part of the history of British Jewish settlement in the UK’. For more information on Sephardi Voices UK including links to their British Library sound archive, click here.