Phobiastan is a dreamscape journey in an experiential new novel form using poetry and Art, embracing literary minimalism. The book centres on a central theme of a fictional child growing up in Bradford from the 60's to the present day, in a world of conflict, particularly Islamophobia. I wanted new audiences, particularly hard to reach groups to be able to access this work. In my last Art Novel, Sultan Vs Dracula, I learnt that many don't have the time nowadays to read the "novel" as traditionally conceived. For this book, I tore down all non-essential words and descriptions. Applying a visual commentary to the English Literature through Nastaliq calligraphy was a challenge, but I hope the reader enjoys the traditional style of Nastaliq with the cultural and socio-economic landscapes of the industries, transport structures and built environments of the North of England.
30th September 2018 I will be talking about Phobiastan at the Ilkley Literature Festival
18th October 2018 I will be in conversation with Dr Adam Strickson, Teaching Fellow, University at Leeds talking about how graphic novels can challenge thoughts and ideas at Holmfirth Library
On 17th November 2018 I will be reading from my book and sharing a panel with award winning authors Leila Aboulela, Qaisra Shahraz and Bradford 12 Activist Tariq Mehmood.
We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following organisations that made Phobiastan possible:
Arts Council England
The Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust
Blue Moose Books
Ilkley Literature Festival