Fayakunu Empowering Society: Art, Craft & Heritage

by Fayakunu Cultural Art Studio in Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £3,451

raised so far



Our Hybrid Studio facilitates ceramic art in Bradford. Engaging the underserved in the arts & developing local artists for social enterprise

by Fayakunu Cultural Art Studio in Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 28th March 2023 we'd raised £3,450 with 33 supporters in 68 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


Mahmud Manning - Atina & the Samnite league, 2016: Oil & Tempura on paper

Who Are We & Why Do We Exist?

At Fayakunu, our aim is to facilitate the teaching and support of ethnic art and design. Nominated as “21 for 21 Bradford” in recognition of our cultural impact towards the “Bradford Culture is our Plan” bid, we are a non-profit CIC. We were also recognised by HRH King Charles during his latest visit to Bradford, where he met our founder, Kasim Tariq.

Fayakunu is much more than just an art studio. We are a collective of creative experts and artists, who are passionate about enabling young people from ethnic backgrounds to truly grasp their creative potential. Through training in pottery and woodwork, we will explore culture as well as develop their skills as creative entrepreneurs. 



The Black and Asian minorities are under-supported in the arts and we want these communities to have better chances of excelling in Art and STEM sciences. Our vision is to bring ethnic art, design and science together and reconnect these communities with their heritage.

Fayakunu is an urban regeneration project and Art Studio, teaching the arts in ceramic and wood workshop beginner classes, whilst also having open access days for members. Fayakunu is Bradford's first culturally focused art studio, looking to teach ethnic art and its application within design. The workshops will facilitate vocational training and opportunities for artists to develop their social enterprise. Fayakunu is a non-profit that has been supported by The Leap & Arts Council England and is proud to be part of the Bradford City of Culture 2025.

Kasim Tariq - Cobalt and Dome Clay study, 2018Kasim T: Fayakunu Workshop CGI render

Our Aims 

At Fayakunu we :

  • Facilitate the production of art in Bradford.
  • Support the underserved in engaging in the arts.
  • Celebrate ethnic art & culture.
  • Help ethnic communities to reclaim their heritage.
  • Enable upcoming artists to hone in on their talents.
  • Promote new artists and develop their craft into a social enterprise.
  • Develop a unique Islamic & ethnic hub for art in Bradford.

Mahmud Manning - Arabic Calligraphy in a Mosque, Gold Leaf gilding

(Mahmud Manning - Arabic Calligraphy in a Mosque, Gold Leaf gilding)

How It All Started 

The idea of Fayakunu was conceptualised by Kasim Tariq during the COVID-19 lockdown and has since developed into a dynamic collective of artists, working hard to bring the vision to life.

Here are some words from Kasim,  upon beginning this journey from his perspective:

“The concept was spoken into being in 2020: as the world was dragged to a grinding halt due to COVID-19, I was forced to look at a communal solution to the increasing unemployment rates in the region and also at the condition in which the youths in Bradford were living. A lot of the degradation in their lives is due to a lack of creative expression and enthusiasm for learning.

Kasim : Angle grinding old pipes for the renovation

So Fayakunu and its workshop will look to bring the public to the workshop and teach skills in pottery, resin casting, woodworking and eventually metal craft. Through a series of workshops that look at culturally significant crafts and skills to broaden the horizons for our future generation.

Throughout the course of my life, I have sought to inherit a range of skills including carpet fitting, woodworking, and pottery; as well as 3D design and manufacturing methods like 3D printing and CNC Milling. I wish to share this knowledge through Fayakunu and its workshops, helping the younger generations achieve careers in design, architecture and engineering more easily while providing them with positive outlets and a safe environment. My degree in Interior Architecture and Design spurred me to use my skills to provide a heritage space for the local community and create opportunities for productive social cohesion.“

 Kasim Tariq - Resin Cast Architectural Model: The Vernacular Ringing Mosque 2018

Fayakunu is a Hybrid Art Studio; facilitating and teaching the arts in ceramic and wood workshops. Fayakunu is Bradford's first cultural art studio, focusing not only on the arts of the world but bridging social gaps in the process. The workshops will facilitate vocational training and opportunities for artists to develop their social enterprise. Fayakunu is a non-profit that has been supported by The Leap & Arts Council England and is proud to be part of the Bradford City of Culture 2025.

The Journey So Far, 2022

It’s been an adventure getting this far and perhaps you’ve followed our progress on Instagram or Youtube. Fayakunu secured some initial funding for renovation which was also backed by Wickes’ community scheme. We’ve been undertaking major repair work on the site we’d acquired; if you haven’t seen it yet then check it out in the video below - we’re super stoked with the progress we’ve made so far and want to hear what you’ve got to say about the project!

Mahmud Manning - Building with Adobe

Since the beginning we’ve seen the addition of two new Directors to our Board - We’re so excited to have Mahmud Manning, Haider Cheema & Afzal Khan on board with us to take Fayakunu to the next level!

Mahmud Manning is a practising fine artist based in Bradford who has a background in Traditional Muslim Arts and Urban Design. He has worked on various projects for the YALJ Group (KSA) including the designing and building of a vernacular Mosque in Hejaz using clay and stone, eco-village interventions and farm infrastructure, he is also a co-founder of Zambezi Voluntary Service - a charity concerned with water management, health and well-being (Zambia). Mahmud has been an outreach tutor for The Princes School of Art and has been involved in community projects within Bradford for 15 years.

Afzal Khan is a Freelancing Researcher in the arts and heritage sector who has worked for the British Museum and Manchester Museum. He has a degree in English and American literature and a Master’s degree in South Asian Area Studies. He is the founder and chairman of the young friends of the Lancaster Maritime Museum, as well as a trustee for the charity “Kids In Museums”. Afzal is an appreciator of the literary arts and cultural poetry. 


The Social Problem

Fayakunu was designed around the existing problems in Bradford. You might be asking: which problems, specifically? 

According to ONS, almost 1 in 2 Pakistani males of working age and a staggering 2 in 3 female Pakistanis are economically inactive. Over 20% of the population of Bradford suffers from “worklessness”. These studies were conducted prior to the onset of COVID-19 and the cost of living crisis, so we can only deduce that conditions will have deteriorated. 

What Kinds Of Art Will Fayakunu Facilitate?

  • Ceramic clay art - throwing and hand-building techniques 
  • Quranic Illumination Courses
  • Woodworking courses including woodturning
  • Carbon fibre and resin casting
  • Jesmonite casting
  • Islamic Geometry
  • Ethnic furniture-making techniques

Kasim Tariq : Wax resist / Clay tile study

What Else Do We Offer to the Community? 

  • Study the design & inventor of the first camera, Hassan ibn al-Haytham 
  • Studies on the lives of Islamic figures in science.
  • Ethnic & Vernacular building techniques. 
  • Experiment with new materials events.
  • Artistic installations & commissions.
  • Public exhibitions and events.

Our Approach

Fayakunu was designed to aid in the development of the local community's vocational skills and expose them to art and give them the facilities to create. We aim to cater creative courses ranging from textile and ceramic art to automotive carbon fibre casting courses in the bid to spur the younger generation to design, engineer and build. With open access days, our members benefit from the creative freedom and expert guidance in crafting their designs and artwork, whilst also sharing their knowledge with our community. 

Kasim Tariq : Porcelain series 1Kasim tariq: Woodturning Oak on a Lathe

Whilst the teaser courses are there to inspire, other in-depth courses for intermediate and beginner artists will allow them to develop their craft and will give them the confidence to take their craft from a hobby to a social enterprise. Fayakunu is there to support upcoming artists through every step of their development and discovery. By creating an online platform for local artists to sell through, we can help artists make an income from their craft. 

Fayakunu will be the first Muslim-led, cultural and Islamic art studio in the North of England. We believe it is important for the Muslim community to not only engage in the arts but to explore their heritage through the arts. There is a huge disconnect between the younger ethnic generation and their artistic heritage. We will subsidise costs for those in more difficult circumstances and aid all artists in the district to benefit from our facilities and expertise, to ensure we are reaching those hardest hit by the current cost of living crisis. 

Kasim Tariq: Fayakunu Interior Design Plan

With the help of our sponsors, we’ve managed to get through most of Phase One of our renovation project; you can watch our six-month update video on YouTube. Phase One is the cleanup and major electrical work so there is plenty left to do. Phase Two will be the installation of crucial workshop equipment and this is why we are seeking more funding. 

Thanks to LEAP & Bradford Council we have raised almost half of what we need and made headway on the renovations. Check out the progress we've made on Youtube!

Our new website is now live along with this crowdfunding campaign, and we urge you to share our message with as many people as you can so that we can hit our target.

Mahmud Manning - The event 2 : Oil on Paper, Bradford Open Biennale 1st Prize winner, 2018

Our Ask

As a community interest company, we operate as a non-profit and for the first part of our journey finding sponsors is incredibly important for us to keep things running. We need another £15k capital to get this off the ground. This funding will help us get the materials for the final stages of renovation and tools for our workshop including potters wheels, kilns, bandsaws and engineering lathes as well as necessary safety equipment and other essentials. 


Your support will facilitate classes and workshops for the community, helping us create a more resilient future for Bradford. We’re reaching out now to the public to help raise funds to invest in the future of Bradford and Art. Your contribution will carry our project forward to support upcoming artists for years to come. We need your help to get this revolutionary project off the ground.

Follow us on Youtube to keep up to date with our progress and future workshop tutorial videos. Like, comment and share our content with your friends and family to help us reach as many supporters as we can! :) 


This project offered rewards

£2,000 or more

£2000 Reward!! (one-off Porcelain Kintsugi Bowl)

REWARD: One-off Porcelain crackle glazed Kintsugi Bowl handcrafted by Kasim Tariq over the course of a month. Be Featured our Friends of Fayakunu Plaque in the Workshop. Plus a special mention on our Friends of Fayakunu webpage and YouTube video.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A personalised letter of thanks from the Fayakunu Board.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Invitation to the grand opening of the Art studio and 1 free session at the ceramics workshop.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

Special invitation to the Grand opening plus 3 x clay pottery classes.

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