“The sacred can take on plastic forms, it can take on compositions of colours, textures. It can be brought into the physical world and remind us of its spiritual origin.”
Artist and designer Javid Jah guides us through his sacred spaces in the city — from quiet moments alone on the subway platform; to the synesthetic bustle of Kensington Market; and to the Madinah Masjid, where he reflects on the sacred geometry embedded within Islamic architecture, which connects our humanity to cosmic intelligence.
Javid Jah is inspired by the notion that we can experience a shared underlying reality that is hidden from our rational comprehension of the material world. His practice attempts to manifest glimpses of this alternative reality through art installations that challenge how images are produced and perceived. His work is rooted in the tradition of Sufism — the mystical lens of Islam that honours a metaphysical relationship between human and the cosmos. Javid believes that geometry is a sacred language because it has the ability to speak to any individual, regardless of race, gender, age or origin.
Javid is joined by Rev. Michelle Singh, an interfaith Minister and the Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good. The pair delve deeper into questions of sacred space and city-building — how do we determine collective definitions of the sacred, beyond our limited language? What are our priorities around fostering sacred public spaces in the city that acknowledge diverse, ancient traditions? And what is the recipe for cultivating sacred spaces that bridge the physical and the digital, in a post-pandemic world?
Faith & the Common Good is a national, interfaith charitable network dedicated to building more resilient and sustainable Canadian communities. Rev. Michelle Singh has been actively engaged in Canada’s interfaith movement for over 12 years, vice-chairing the award-winning World Interfaith Harmony Week Steering Committee and co-founding a multi-faith Spiritual Dialogue Circle. She was a Board member and Steering Committee Co-Chair for the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions — overseeing the world’s largest interfaith gathering, featuring over 1000 diverse spiritual programs. She is an officiant, well known for intuitive listening and her ability to create safe and sacred spaces for processing and dialogue.
Throughout the episode you will hear music created by Chris Ak and Rashid McDowell-McCallum, with vocals by A l l i e, which aligns harmonics of planetary orbits with the chakra energetic system, to sonically represent the planets taking the form of the platonic solids, once believed to be the building blocks of our universe.