I was recently given the privilege to perform at three Charity events created by The British Asian Trust. BBC News presenter Asad Ahmad highlighted some of the stories of the remarkable women he met on a recent visit to Pakistan, where he learned more about the positive impact of our work on their lives.
And as a result created the campaign Mind, Body and Sew with The British Trust.
This led to two Iftar events during Ramadhan, one of which was at The Savoy Hotel, which saw the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Boxer Amir Khan in attendance and one Eid event hosted by Hardeep Singh Kohli and headlined by comedian Paul Chowdhury.
I was asked by graffiti artist Mohammed Ali to create a piece based on something similar he had developed and performed before. I was inspired by the story of one girl – Shama – from Asad’s journey, who suffered from Schizophrenia -an issue that is already close to my heart. So I wrote a short piece, dramaturged by Mohammed, which he named ‘State of Mind’.
The piece was about a character waking up in a clear box to find herself trapped and speaking out to her mother to try to understand why she had been locked.
It was also layered with music and vocals by Faisal Salah to compliment her moments of prayer, until eventually she finds her own way out of the box towards a new freedom (which illustrated the help she would be receiving from the campaign)
Here is Shama’s story (Password: BAT pak)
A total of £500,000 was raised, which will go towards helping women with mental health problems, in Pakistan. The money will help fund sewing projects that can help women to develop and sustain ways of earning a living from their love of sewing.
More information can be found here.