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Hadiyah Masieh on Compassion, Empathy and Interfaith

Jan 22, 2024 | ArtXCity, Investors

The meeting point of art and commerce is an ever-changing and chimeric point of interaction. What place does art have in the world of finance? How can young, savvy individuals learn to secure their footing in the world of work through smart investment? What advice do successful entrepreneurs have for the youth of today about finance, culture, and belief in the self? These are all questions ‘Art and the City’ seeks to answer, by interviewing some of the brightest and boldest minds in both the art world and the city. 

This episode of Art and the City features special guest Hadiyah Masieh, a community leader, social activist and founder of the counter extremism movement Groundswell Project. With a background in non-profit and commercial organisations, her experience of the city has led her to compassionate work, foregrounding in her day-to-day, positive interactions between inspirational citizens, and work to prevent hate crime and radicalisation. Her work has been featured in publications such as Time, The Guardian and Vogue, she has written and contributed to reports published by the UN, advised UK prime ministers, and is also a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts. 

Emmeline sat down with Hadiyah to discuss how her work in interfaith and arts organisations has helped her to develop principles of compassion and empathy, both of which she is aiming to spread into the city. Whilst living in Moorgate amongst the thick of the corporate environment, she began to connect people in the area through a movement called ‘Faith and the City’, bringing investors, religions, and arts programmes together. This experience, she determines, brought her closer to understanding the need for greater community and empathy in the city, and for people to connect on a human level.

Hadiyah’s current company Groundswell tackles these problems directly, particularly in the realms of anti-hate and anti-radicalization. She describes her desire for a ‘ray of compassion’ to be brought on those who have experienced trauma and segregation, and hopes that her work through finding, connecting and amplifying individuals in need will tackle some of the UK’s most pressing issues. Her work with the Royal Society of Arts has also been a crucial role in Hadiyah’s belief in the power of art to heal. If people with significant capital can learn to invest in art, they therefore invest in people, in stories, and contribute to a better society. 

Listen to the episode here.

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