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TaqwaTour 2007-2009

The Kominas (shown above) will be playing at 8PM

The powerHouse Arena is pleased to invite you to the opening reception and launch party for the exhibition and book

The Taqwacores: Muslim Punk in the USA

Photographs by Kim Badawi

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 7–9PM
The powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street, Brooklyn
For more information: (718) 666-3049

Join us at The powerHouse Arena for a celebration of Kim Badawi's chronicle of a burgeoning subculture. powerHouse Books is pleased to launch The Taqwacores: Muslim Punk in the USA by photographer Kim Badawi, and The powerHouse Arena is opening an accompanying exhibition in conjunction with its publication. Our opening reception and book launch party on Thursday, September 17, from 7–9PM, will feature a live performance by Boston-based Punjabi-taqwacore punk band The Kominas.

Just a few years ago the notion of "taqwacore," a Muslim subgenre of punk rock, existed only as an inspired fiction. Writer Michael Muhammad Knight coined the term for his novel The Taqwacores, the story of a Muslim punk house in Buffalo, NY, which Knight initially distributed from the back of his car in DIY Xerox format. In time, the book found legitimate distribution and garnered supporters, even inspiring the first woman-led prayer of a mixed-gender congregation in the United States in 2005. But something far grander was in the works; unbeknownst to Knight, a real Muslim punk scene was starting to emerge, based on the one he had imagined for the book.

Photographer Kim Badawi first met Knight around this time, and bore witness as the taqwacore phenomenon began to take hold. Beginning in 2006, Badawi traveled across the U.S. with the musicians who had been spurred to action by Knight's creative vision. In 2007 he was invited to accompany the TaqwaTour, traveling to major cities across North America alongside bands including The Kominas and Secret Trial Five. As the genre continues to take shape and influence a rising generation of artists and intellectuals, Badawi's The Taqwacores stands as a photographic companion to the original text and an indispensable document of the making of a movement.

Born in Paris in 1980, Kim Badawi is an American photojournalist and documentarian of French, Egyptian, and Slovenian background. He began his photographic career photographing the plight of refugee families from Mississippi to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while still interning for Contact Press Images and Magnum Photos in New York. Selected for publication by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Badawi's work appears in 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers (powerHouse Books, 2008).

The Kominas are a Punjabi-taqwacore punk band from Boston, Massachusetts.

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