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Open the Door 2021: In Conversation with Sabba Khan and Nyla Ahmad

22nd May, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The Roles We Play Book Cover, Sabba Khan

Sabba Khan‘s tender, nuanced take on family, faith and belonging conjures auto-bio trailblazers like Alison Bechdel and Craig Thompson. A touchstone in the making, this is the book I’ve been waiting for.” Nyla Ahmad

Open the Door, Scotland’s first ever festival for women’s writing returns this year for its fifth edition! Inspired by Glasgow’s long history of bold, creative women, our theme this year is writers who are artists and artists who are writers, and we’re celebrating how women creatives weave these two practices together.

Today we are spotlighting the work of historical writer Zarina Hashmi and Zarina’s work has a number of overlapping themes with the fantastic creative joining us at this In Conversation event.

In Conversation with Sabba Khan and Nyla Ahmad, Saturday 22nd May, 2pm to 3.30pm, Online


The Roles We Play Book Cover, Sabba Khan
The Roles We Play Book Cover, Sabba Khan

In Sabba Khan’s debut graphic novel, “The Roles We Play”, illustration, design and writing come together to create a powerful series of interconnected stories. These thirty stories paint a snapshot of contemporary British Asian life and the complex generational shifts experienced within migrant communities today. At this relaxed conversational event, we’re delighted that Sabba will be sharing the journey behind her graphic novel with Nyla Ahmad, Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust. They’ll be talking together about the intersection between art and writing and who has opened the door to them.

Pull up a chair for this online event, where you’ll hear more about Sabba’s work and be inspired by how graphic novels can bring personal narratives beautifully to life.

Sabba Khan is an architectural designer & graphic novelist. Her work is an exploration of first world city life as a second generation Azad Kashmiri Muslim migrant. She explores themes of belonging, memory and identity. Using a hybrid of text and visual commentary, she sits at the intersection of visual storytelling, poetry, and spatial form.  Sabba’s work on her forthcoming graphic novel, The Roles We Play (Myriad Editions, June 2021) was funded by Jerwood Arts. You can pre-order The Roles We Play here.

Nyla Ahmad is Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust, leading on programming Book Week Scotland. Nyla was the inaugural awardee of Literature Alliance Scotland’s Next Level Award and currently serves on the Glasgow Zine Library board of trustees. She previously co-led the BHP Comics project, Full Colour, a mentoring programme for young comics creators from BAME backgrounds. She has also worked for the Glasgow Women’s Library on their museum access project, Equality in Progress. Nyla’s MPhil thesis examined South Asian and Muslim representation in comics. She served as chair of the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance Awards for three years.

This is one of our Attend events this Spring. You can sit back and enjoy the conversation whilst also having the opportunity to ask your own questions in an audience Q and A. See all our Open the Door festival events here.

Please note that this event will be recorded. The recording will be available to watch for a short period after the event, with auto-generated subtitles.


Booking is now closed for this event.

This event is free and open to all. To attend, please book below and we will share an email invitation with a Zoom link with you a few days before the event.  If you would like to make a donation to Glasgow Women’s Library, you can do so herePlease note that booking will close on Saturday 22nd May at 12 noon.


This session takes place via an online video call link. If you would like to attend, please book below and we will share an email invitation along with simple and straight forward instructions on how this will work. If you have any concerns about how this will work for you, please do get in touch and we’ll do all we can to support you in joining the session.

Stagetext Live Captioning will be available at this event.

British Council logo (four circles arranged in a square, with the words 'Brititsh Council' over two lines beside them)Open the Door logo


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22nd May, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Glasgow Women’s Library
0141 550 2267