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The ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM Exhibition includes a series of public programs in-person and virtual:


 SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 


A Path to Muslim Flourishing, Joy, and Futurism (Virtual Talk)
12:00 - 1:00 pm EST
John Hope Franklin Center / Duke University Center for International and Global Studies


 SEPTEMBER 8, 2022 

"ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM” screening before Saul Williams' “Neptune Frost”
Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater
7:00 pm EST

 SEPTEMBER 9, 2022 


SPACE JAM / a MIPSTERZ Spotlight Series
NorthStar Church of the Arts
7:00 - 10:00 pm EST


Created by MIPSTERZ, in partnership with NorthStar and presented by Duke Arts, “Space Jam” explores the myriad futures being created in Muslim and Muslim-adjacent communities. Join us for an evening of community building through musical performance, improvisation, visual art, and knowledge sharing between Muslim diasporas from RDU to NYC and beyond. Featuring work and performances from OnlyUs, Najla McClain, American Islamicate, Maya Ghanem, Waad Ali, Rise Rashid, DUNUMS, and GRAMMY-nominated Gnawa phenom SamiR LanGus.

6:30 pm Doors
7:00 pm Cypher hosted by OUxBlackspace
7:45 pm RDU MIPSTERZ showcase, emceed by Abbas Rattani
9:00 pm SamiR LanGus


Also features a pop-up MIPSTERZ Marketplace with original artwork and refreshments from WonderPuff and Karavansarai. MIPSTERZ is proud to support Muslim Women For, a grassroots organization of diverse women leaders whose mission is to embody and be an effective voice of the Qur’anic ideals of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion, and social justice.

 SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 


MUSLIM FUTURISM: Definitions and Manifestations
Rubenstein Arts Center Lounge
2:00 - 3:30 pm EST

In partnership with the Duke Islamic Studies Center and Duke Arts, MIPSTERZ is proud to present a panel discussion exploring Muslim Futurism and the academic and creative disciplines that support the dreaming of alternate futures. Panelists include Dr. Youssef Carter (UNC-Chapel Hill), Dr. Priscilla Layne (UNC-Chapel Hill), and Dr. Omid Safi (Duke). 


2:00 pm Opening Remarks
2:05 pm Youssef Carter “Black Muslim Futures”
2:30 pm Priscilla Layne "“Gulf Futurism in Semih Kaplanoglu’s Grain (2017)”
2:55 pm Omid Safi “Ms. Marvel and the post-9/11 Muslim imagination”
3:15 pm Discussion moderated by Abbas Rattani



Youssef Carter is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Kenan Rifai Fellow in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is currently writing a book called "The Vast Oceans: Remembering God and Self on the Mustafawi Sufi Path" which is a multisite ethnography of a transatlantic spiritual network of African-American and West African Muslims that rely on dhikr as a spiritual technology and deploy certain modes of West African Islamic spiritual training to navigate historical-political contexts around the Black Atlantic.

Priscilla Layne is Associate Professor of German and Adjunct Assistant Professor of African and African American Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Layne is the author of White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture (Michigan, 2018). Dr. Layne is currently working on her second book, Out of this World: Afro-German Afrofuturism, which focuses on Afro-German authors' use of Afrofuturist concepts in literature and theater. In addition to this project, some of the broader themes she is interested in are German national identity, conceptions of race and self/other in Germany, cross-racial empathy, postcolonialism, and rebellion.

Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. He served as Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center from 2014-2019. A selection of Dr. Safi's works includes: "Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism" (Oneworld, 2003), "Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters" (HarperOne, 2009), "The Cambridge Companion to American Islam" (Cambridge, 2013) and "Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition" (Yale, 2018). He is a regular contributor to On Being and currently hosts the Sufi Heart podcast, and is the founder of Illuminated Tours and Illuminated Courses. 


Rubenstein Arts Center Lounge
3:30 - 5:00 pm EST

Closing reception to bring together artists, musicians, filmmakers, and academics behind the exhibition and programs—FREE for all to attend.



Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater
5:00 - 6:30 pm EST

In partnership with MIPSTERZ, Duke Arts is proud to present a joint screening of three films exploring futures near and far: “Building Bridges: Muslims in America”  “ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM,” and “Wish Hill”. Screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Directors Saleem Reshamwala, Aleah Marrow, and Abbas Rattani at the Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater.

5:00 pm Building Bridges: Muslims in America (45 min)
5:50 pm  Wish Hill (8 min)
6:00 pm Filmmaker Q&A w/ Saleem Reshamwala, Abbas Rattani, Aleah Marrow



“Building Bridges: Muslims in America” chronicles a five-year initiative of the same name started in 2018. The project showcases the richness and diversity of Muslim culture in this country. Working in partnership with the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), Duke Performances hosted residencies by U.S.-based Muslim artists featuring substantial engagement with the Duke and Durham community, visits to nearby high schools, and public concerts. Durham-based filmmaker KidEthnic provides a behind-the-scenes look at each residency through short films documenting the series.

“ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM” is a musically driven experimental vision of Muslim joy as resistance and liberation. It is a colorful and joyous look into a future where Muslims exist unapologetically. A future where our dignity, flourishing, and imaginations as Muslims are actualized—a future where Third Culture is the dominant wave, where Muslims exist loudly alongside each other in their found-families. The film was an official selection in festivals around the country, including the Tribeca Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival.

“Wish Hill” is a narrative short film featuring Kaden and Damon finding their childhood wearied amidst the pandemic. As quarantine fatigue sets in, Kaden becomes increasingly aware that the new normal is capricious. With the desperate need to escape, Kaden and Damon go on an adventure filled with exploration and discovery that holds the answer to what they desire most. Directed by Durham-based, former tennis player-turned-filmmaker Aleah Marrow, the film recently received the honor of Best Children Short at Indie Short Fest.


Saleem Reshamwala is a journalist and filmmaker, and director of “Building Bridges: Muslims in America.” Currently, he is the host of the TED podcast, Far Flung, which explores ideas around the globe.Previously, Reshamwala has created work for LinkedIn,, and PBS Digital Studios, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the web series "Beat Making Lab." He has also traveled around the world by boat, twice. In 2017, Reshamwala won Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem for the music video he directed for G. Yamazawa's ("North Cack"). He also received an Emmy nomination for his work on implicit bias and race while at The New York Times. He has degrees in journalism and philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abbas Rattani is an academic, entertainer, founder of MIPSTERZ, and director of “ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM.”  He is a strong advocate for individuality and self-expression in minority communities. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Religious Studies with a focus on Islamic Studies and has published, presented, and taught numerous works on Islamic ethics, social justice, morality, research ethics, film/tv communication, and religious authority. Over the past decade, Abbas has produced countless films and created content for MTV, Tumblr, and musical artists, as well as opening for comedians Lewis Black and Wyatt Cenac, and Kenan Thompson. 

Aleah Marrow is a filmmaker and graduate of Syracuse University. Her work aims to explore a combination of reality, morality, human connection, as well as our relationship to time. As a former professional tennis player, Aleah has traveled all over the world having exposure to several cultures. In 2020, Aleah decided to retire from her tennis career and begin her journey of storytelling. In 2021, she wrote and directed her first short film Wish Hill, which was an official selection at the BAFTA-qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and Los Angeles International Film Festival

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Support for this exhibition as part of the ALHAMDU immersive art experience is provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program. The mission of the Building Bridges Program is to support national efforts, working with U.S. Muslims, to increase mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations for the benefit of building stronger, inclusive communities. Additional support is provided by Duke Arts, Rubenstein Center for the Arts at Duke University, the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, and Colorado College.

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