Nomad is a space for refuge and an escape from the daily grind.

The public are guided through a series of thought-provoking questions surrounding ‘faith’. People’s prayers are a personal and sacred thing, but we bring them into a very visual and public form, providing a fascinating insight into the minds of our communities. 

Nomad has visited Birmingham and London and now looks for new pastures to explore

Nomad In Birmingham

As part of the University of Birmingham’s Culture Forward initiative, Soul City Arts created an installation entitled ‘NOMAD’ for Festival ’23. Artistic Director Mohammed Ali brought a specially made ‘nomadic reflection booth’ for the public to step inside and scribe and record their most cherished thoughts and du’as (prayers).

The installation transformed the elegant Assembly Rooms in the University’s Exchange building. Filmed recordings of the hopes, prayers and du’a expressed through the day were gathered in a same-day-edit and shared via a giant LED screen in Centenary Square that evening.

Nomad In London

Soul City Arts an arts organisation out of Birmingham, took over a industrial warehouse in London’s Royal Docks. In the shadows of a Tate and Lyle factory, The Factory project, a cold unassuming warehouse was transformed into a spiritual and welcoming space for refection. Lights and smoke filled the space creating an immersive Blade runner esc experience. Prayers and thoughts scribed on prayer mats hang around the space, providing the unique opportunity for community members too see what each other are praying for. 

All centred around a nomadic tent structure inviting the audience to share there thoughts, prayers and du’as to camera, contributing to a growing collection of prayers allowing for a collective understanding on our communities and their faith.

Why Nomad ?

A Nomad by definition describes one who does not stay in one place for too long, travelling freely at the will of nature.

Being on the move and having no little attachment to the worldly life may seem far from reality for us today. By taking a step into world or the tent of a nomad we give ourselves the opportunity to think like a nomad, breaking free from the constraints of modern society.

The project takes inspiration from the Nomadic lifestyle of simplicity and contemplation, creating a space for  reflection and a sanctuary from the bustle of life. Could you live away from technology, no distractions, just you and your thoughts? Moving the installation around and never being in one place reflects the nomadic way of life, opening up to new audiences along the way, and now its time for London.

About The Artist

Mohammed has painted murals, created installations, and delivered live performances in cities like New York, Johannesburg, Melbourne, and Kuala Lumpur.  He and his team at Soul City Arts – an arts organisation he founded –  have created a immersive and sacred space. He has described it as a ‘nomadic reflection booth’ to capture their most cherished thoughts and ‘du’as’ (Arabic word for ‘prayers’).

Mohammed says, “We have brought ‘Nomad’ into a London warehouse for a weekend as a  space for refuge and an escape from the daily grind.  People’s prayers are a very personal and sacred thing, but we bring them into a very visual and public form, providing a fascinating insight into the minds of our communities. When do we ever see what others pray for?  Is it a taboo to even ask such a thing?”