Aga Khan Museum: An interfaith crucible of art and architecture
Late last year, a diverse group of interfaith leaders visited the Aga Khan Museum to explore its exhibitions, architecture, and facilities. As the United Nations has decreed the first week of February World Interfaith Harmony Week, The.Ismaili is pleased to share the experiences of these visitors in an article written by Ruth Broyde Sharone, first published on 15 November 2018 by The Interfaith Observer.
Some 7,500 people representing more than 200 religions gathered from around the globe were boisterously engaged at the Toronto Convention Centre in a week-long repast [last November]. The feast included interfaith plenaries, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, worship, meditation, artistic performances, a film series, and much more. All the while a different kind of interfaith activity — subtle and low-key — was going on a few miles away, at the Aga Khan Museum.
The stunning museum, designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, is a landmark structure, revealing in exquisite detail the rich artistic culture of Islam and the diversity of Islamic civilization. As their brochure describes, it is dedicated to connecting cultures through the arts by serving as a centre for innovation and creativity, with an expressed goal “to expand people’s understanding of the contributions of Islamic civilization to global cultural heritage.”
It was created by His Highness the Aga Khan, the current spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community, often referred to as a modern-day “Medici.” He is the community’s 49th hereditary Imam and a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad. He is both a patron of the arts and a creative force, having spearheaded the construction of some of the most noteworthy architectural sites in the world, including hospitals, universities, museums, and gardens.
The Aga Khan has also initiated one of the most prestigious architectural prizes in the world, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and his architectural and cultural footprint is especially noteworthy in Canada. Landmark sites include the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre in Toronto, the recently inaugurated Aga Khan Gardens in Edmonton, and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat building in Ottawa. Also in Ottawa is the Global Centre for Pluralism, funded by the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada, a tribute to the model pluralism that characterizes a country which has a history of liberal immigration and recently became a welcoming home to thousands of Syrian refugees.
'Enchanting orb' as part of new exhibit on moon draws visitors to Toronto museum
Aga Khan Museum's The Moon: A Voyage Through Time looks at role of moon in Islamic world
A giant sculpture of the "enchanting orb" known as the moon is drawing visitors to the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
The sculpture, made of nylon, weighing 80 kilograms and covered with printed imagery of the lunar surface, is the centrepiece of The Moon: A Voyage Through Time, a new exhibition that explores the role of the moon throughout history, in faith, science and the arts, particularly in the Muslim world.
Knitting Pilgrim project appearing at Aga Khan explores religious commonalities
The project, called the Knitting Pilgrim, saw Dunn knit three, intricate tapestries measuring five feet by eight feet in a style nicknamed “stitched glass” because it closely resembles the look, brightness and ornate nature of stained glass windows.
The pieces are composed of about 100 pounds of knitting and $10,000 of yarn. They are meant to explore “the commonalities and conflicts” of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and are sprinkled with religious symbols including the Star of David, the Kaaba, the burning bush, a dove and a menorah.
The pieces were Inspired by Dunn’s longtime connection to religion, fostered by his father, a Presbyterian minister.
Date: Saturday, July 20 (12-10pm) & Sunday, July 21 (12-6pm)
RAIN OR SHINE
Getting Here: Free shuttle bus from downtown with 5 convenient stops
At 10:56 pm on July 20, 1969, humans first set foot on the moon, expanding the limits of humanity. Now to celebrate 50 years since that milestone, we’re hosting a two-day festival, featuring live music, a food fair, artisan market, and family-friendly activities. Join us for a weekend full of lunar-inspired fun at the Museum, in the Aga Khan Park, and at The Ismaili Centre, Toronto.
Since 2016, the Aga Khan Museum has been proud to partner with Frederic Roberts Photography Workshops to showcase the incredible talent of local students. In just two and a half days, high schoolers learn computer and camera skills that will last a lifetime. But it is about more than building knowledge. “Photography is a tool for self-expression, and the stories are very powerful.” says Roberts.
It is this focus on storytelling that makes the workshop so unique. Students come from different backgrounds and communities to share images that catch their eye. Then, because Roberts runs these workshops all around the world, they can connect with other young photographers in a private Facebook group. “Instead of teaching and disappearing, there is a continued education element to the workshops,” Roberts explains. “We leave behind equipment for the students to keep using, and our faculty stays engaged with the images posted on the Facebook group.”
Each time the workshop returns to the Aga Khan Museum, former students share their expertise with the newcomers to the group. This invaluable teaching experience helps to build responsibility, patience and compassion. “It is amazing to see someone with no experience in photography become a teaching assistant in such a short time,” says Roberts. The future leaders in our community start with the simple click of a camera.
To find out more about the programme’s impact, we spoke to four student photographers from the most recent workshop.
SECTION OF A CEREMONIAL COVERING (KISWA) FOR THE KA’BA BUILDING AT THE HEART OF THE MASJID AL-HARAM MOSQUE IN MECCA
Accession Number:AKM823Place:CairoDimensions:850 x 91 cmDate:late 19th – early 20th centuryMaterials and Technique:Black silk with red silk appliqué, embroidered in silver and silver gilt wire over cotton and silk thread padding
The Sufi Dimension in the Auditorium of Aga Khan Museum
The Sufi Dimension with Saad & Ankita! Celebrate mysticism in the Auditorium of Aga Khan Museum Presented by Kiaram Entertainment Inc.
About this Event
The Sufi Dimension Event will be focused on an informative, as well as musical journey of Sufism from the time of its known beginning.
The event will be programmed to give the audience an insight into the idea of Sufism, by creatively entailing the stories, to magnifying poets, to bringing Sufi musicians into the limelight, to its existence in various parts of the world.
Date: Saturday, August 31 (12–10 pm) & Sunday, September 1 (12–6 pm)
You’re invited to our fifth birthday bash! We’re throwing a party to commemorate five years since we opened our doors and began our quest to connect cultures. In the spirit of that mission, we proudly bring you an exciting range of cross-cultural music and activities, including Persian jazz, Filipino hip-hop, and even Bhangra dance classes! Other festival highlights include a food fair, family art activities, live music, dance classes, an artisan market, and free admission to our Museum Collection. On Saturday the galleries are open from 10 am to 8 pm, and on Sunday they're open 10 am to 6 pm.
Saturday, August 31 | 12–10 pm
Dang Show - 8:45 pm
Moskitto Bar - 6:30 pm
Amely Zhou - 12, 1, & 3 pm
Kathak Dance with Bageshree Vaze - 2 pm
Fethi Nadjem Ensemble - 2:45 pm
Han Han - 4 pm
TEKE::TEKE - 5:15 pm
Sanskriti Arts: Bhangra - 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 1, 12–6 pm
Kamancello & Gros Morne House Band - 4 pm
Amely Zhou - 12, 1, & 3 pm
Labyrinth Ontario Showcase - 2 pm
Sina Bathaie Ensemble - 5:15 pm
Ensemble Topaz - 3 pm
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum is celebrating five years since its opening. The Museum has dedicated these past five years to a vision of Changing Perceptions. This is a bold vision for any institution, but for one of just five years to have demonstrated the impact the Museum has had on individuals and communities around the world is truly remarkable. The transformation of the Museum into a Thought Leader, a Museum Without Walls, and a Centre for Innovation and Creativity has been uniquely impactful and inspiring, but also not achievable without the incredible generosity of our Museum supporters.
We would like to thank our community of supporters for their passion and friendship over the past five years. As we look to the future, we are excited for all that we will achieve together in changing perceptions and connecting cultures through the arts.
FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CHALLENGE CAMPAIGN — DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!
In honour of our Fifth Anniversary, every dollar you donate between today and November 1 will be doubled, up to $25,000, thanks to an incredibly generous gift from Alnoor Gulamani & Family.
By giving today, you will help the Museum continue to transform mindsets through extraordinary exhibitions, performing arts and educational programming. Please donate today to make your Fifth Anniversary gift to the Aga Khan Museum and help us realize the full potential of this extraordinary challenge!
Choose to make a one-time gift, or make an even bigger impact by pledging to donate monthly.
Your gift of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt for the pre-matched dollar amount donated. Please note that donations to the Fifth Anniversary Challenge Campaign do not include any benefits, including Friend/Patron benefits. Friend/Patron sign-ups and renewals, in-kind donations, and pledges are not eligible to be matched.
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