Graphic Design graduate collaborates with MIF on response to Riz Ahmed's The Long Goodbye

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Jaheed Hussain, Graphic Design alumnus and founder of Manchester-based creative platform Fuse, talks to us about collaborating with Manchester International Festival (MIF) on his response to Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye.

Musician, storyteller, award-winning actor and activist Riz Ahmed received accolades for his emotional live music show, The Long Goodbye – a closeup look at the breakup of a toxic relationship with the country you call home.

Alongside fellow artists Urooj Ahmad, Saidul Choudhury and Grace Maisiri, Fuse founder Jaheed Hussain has shared his personal, creative response to the show, using photography to create a series of collages responding to the theme of belonging and the charged question ‘Where you from?’.

The Long Goodbye heavily reminded me of my own identity,” said Jaheed. “The cultural significance of the project resonated with me massively, being a child of immigrants and being of Asian-British Bangladeshi heritage.

“I was born in Oldham and it’s home, however, my genetic roots are from a whole different country. The Long Goodbye talks about feeling unwelcome in the UK, despite being born here, because of our cultural identity. To me, our identities belong in several places at once, despite where we may be right now and where we came from, and that’s what I wanted to capture for the brief,” he added.

Founded while he studied at the University of Salford, Jaheed’s platform Fuse showcases creativity from around Greater Manchester and beyond; elevating creatives and people of colour by highlighting their practices, their stories and their work. Fuse now has chapters across five different countries, in Barcelona, Birmingham, Oxford and more.

After developing a close relationship with MIF, they approached Fuse to produce creative responses to Riz Ahmed’s acclaimed work. The work was released last month, on Twitter, with Riz himself being a fan.

Fuse continues to grow, which comes as a welcome surprise to Jaheed.

“I didn't really expect to have taken it as far as it's gone. After graduating I used my time building Fuse whilst freelancing on the side,” he said.

He looks back at his time at Salford fondly, crediting his confidence to research and work on diversity in design as something he adopted at university.

“It was exciting! I definitely learnt a lot about graphic design and software - I've been putting into practice ever since. The experience itself and certain tutors helped to guide my own personal development,” he said.

Looking forward, Jaheed is motivated to using Fuse to collaborate with like-minded platforms.

“The pandemic has been a challenging time for the creative industries, but Fuse has kept me sane. I’m very grateful to be working on projects and building something that makes a difference every week.”

Read more about Fuse

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