An international art competition has been launched to honour South African icon Imam Abdullah Haron. The competition is the brainchild of the Imam Abdullah Haron Foundation and the South African Foundation for Islamic Arts (SAFIA) and forms part of a series of commemorative events to mark 50 years since his murder. In May this year, the Foundation embarked on a 123-day campaign to symbolise the 123 days the anti-apartheid activist spent in police detention in the build-up to his death on the 27 September 1969.
Aspiring artists will be challenged to interpret his life and legacy through the medium of art. The art competition will have two themes: transcending barriers and attaining social justice – two issues that Imam Haron had spent his life striving towards.
“We want artists to see what these words mean to them, by using any art form in any material,” said Cassiem Khan, chairman of the Imam Abdullah Haron Foundation.
Besides being a religious scholar, political activist and educationalist, Imam Haron had been passionate about arts and culture. Khan said there are many icons of the local community who had been encouraged by the Imam to develop their craft.
“The famous ballet dancer Johaar Mosaval, who recently received a presidential order award, was told by the Imam to conquer the world. And that is what Johaar did. So Imam was not a one-dimensional alim,” he related.
There are three categories for entry: primary school, high school and an open category. This makes the competition appeal to artists across the spectrum.
SAFIA is a forum for Islamic artists and was founded with a vision to create and promote awareness of Islamic Arts and Crafts and preserve its legacy on a National and International level.
The closing date for the competition is the 31st August 2019.
The 123-day campaign will culminate during Heritage Month in September, when a number of commemorative events will be held and the winners of the art competition will be announced.
For more information, visit imamharon.com or safia.org.za