62 is a new social platform showcasing the work of British South Asian artists, activists and writers from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds. This project aims to combat the marginalisation of BME talent by broadening the online creative space to be more inclusive of diasporic arts, from Peterborough where 62 was born and across the UK.
Editor: Aisha Zia
Aisha is an award-winning playwright, former Resident Artist at Somerset House Studios and 503 Five Alumni, Theatre 503’s artist development program in London. Her work has been called “Powerful and triumphant … a celebration of the human will that transcends religion and gender” (The Independent). She’s a Royal Literary Fund Fellow (2020-2022) and an Associate Artist at HighTide.
Aisha has toured site-specific plays NO GUTS, NO HEART, NO GLORY (winner Scotsman Fringe First, shortlist Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, 2014) and OUR GLASS HOUSE, (winner Special Commendation Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, 2013) across the UK. Both plays were a critical success with 4*/5* reviews in the Guardian, The Independent, Scotsman, Herald and Yorkshire Post. NO GUTS, NO HEART, NO GLORY, a play about young Muslim female boxers from Bradford was staged in real boxing gyms and OUR GLASS HOUSE, a play about domestic abuse was staged in disused houses, both had huge success with engaging non-theatre goers and engaged young, diverse participants and audiences across the UK. NO GUTS was published by Oberon Books, part of the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre and Live from TVC with the Battersea Arts Centre on BBC 4.
She’s currently under commission at Contact Theatre in Manchester, NOT IN MY HONOUR a play about honour-based abuse, made with young people from Manchester is being developed for the main stage in 2021/2022. She’s also developing new work with Fuel Theatre in London, adapting the book ‘This is London’ by Ben Judah. As well as conceiving original ideas for theatre, film and TV, Aisha also worked as a freelance photo editor for the Financial Times and the New Statesman, having previously worked for The Independent and Reuters.
In 2019, 62 Gladstone Street was re-fashioned from an old Bollywood video shop which belonged to founder and editor Aisha Zia’s father in the 1980’s, to a pop-up public engagement art space, independent gallery and research centre. We exhibited work and created new opportunities for resident artists, hosted talks, exhibitions and workshops that addressed the palpable lack of representation for British Muslims in the UK. This new setting created a ground-breaking platform to discuss contemporary issues affecting the local community, a mix of predominantly Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and new wave immigrants from Eastern Europe, Portugal, as well refugee’s and young people from the Middle East.
We want 62 to be a place where creativity is free and unbound, where artists and contributors feel confident, bold and brave with their work. 62 is a place where we can expand what it means to be creative, take risks and push boundaries in a safe space, transcending race, class and gender.
For more information, please feel free to Contact Us.