The Crescent Project.
This project aims to be a constantly ongoing journey inside the world of Islam in France, the religious multidirectional relationships and the many faces that compose this complex multilayered reality built by long years of racial, political, cultural, and even spiritual issues in a troubled geopolitical context. This project is a represention of the many paths followed by different sectors of the population and their intersections, and looks to better understand the relations between the different actors of a fractured and compartmentalized France. Through audiovisual mixed media documentation made of traditional photojournalism, still lifes, interventions of images, portraits and some other documentary approaches the work looks to put together, in a very personal way, lives and stories many times seen as parallel, but that play a very important role in the collective life of the country but even more at the micro local context where communities are under the hovering shadow of Islamophobia, of far right racist ideologists, religious radicalization, antisemitism, and a wide range of extreme ideas. A reflection about a society as a puzzle where its pieces are not always fitting together in order to find a form that better integrates all these elements and contribute to the construction of a more auto-critical, inclusive and self-aware society.
The name of this project is a reference to the symbols that represent the largest monotheistic religions. Each symbol can be used to represent history, culture, knowledge, spiritual quests and celebrate diversity or to create division and hatred amongst people in the name of supossed sacred and invisible superior forces. "The Void" is that place in the middle that is unknown, rarely discussed, and is underappreciated. It could be a neutral zone or, even better, an area of convergence and respect, but it is instead a place where we throw our fear, intolerance and ignorance.
This project has been developed with the support of MAGNUM FOUNDATION - On Religion Program. For a complete view of this essay please visit www.thecrescentproject.com
View of a French flag over the City Hall of Le Havre in french north west where was taking place a rally claiming for justice for the death of Abdoulaye Camara, killed by 10 bullets in hands of police forces on december 16th, 2014.
Trypthic: Nation without people. People without Nation and Nation and People together.
View of the minaret of the Great Mosque of Paris in France. France counts the biggest muslim population in Western Europe as well as the highest percentage of muslims. Their origins are very different being the biggest part originary from Algeria, Tunisia, Marocco and other former french colonies like Mali.
The sister of Babacar Gueye is seen at a rally claiming for justice for her brother killed by police forces with 5 bullets when he had a nervous breakdown and was mutilating himself, one year before in the city of Rennes in Britanny Region.
AbdulRahman Camara leads the protest asking for justice for his brother Abdoulaye Camara killed on 16th december 2014 with ten bullets by french police forces in Le Havre city in Normandy Region.
Portrait of Mrs Latifah Ibn Ziaten. Mrs Latifah is activist for peace and inter-religious relations and mother of Imad Ibn Ziaten that was killed by terrorist Mohamed Merah in 2012 as part of his attacks against security forces and jewish community in Toulouse - Franc.
Youssouf Kadima, 16 years of Congolese and Tchadian parents talks to Mrs Latifah Ibn Ziaten as part of an activity against religious radicalisation and for the peaceful coexistance in France. Youssouf has been taken to the activity by authorities of Juvenile Prison, together with a group of young men in problems with the law.
Nour Boudnaidja, 23 years old, has a discussion with another woman about the meanings and visions on women emancipation and what is her idea of freedom and respect for a french young muslim woman. Nour is an international affairs student with a master in international cooperation.
In Paris young man hears the first discourse of Emmanuel Macron as winner of the first round of presidential elections that virtually gave the victory over extreme right candidate Marine Le Pen.
INTERVENTION - File recovered after being asked to delete the picture by a woman that said her family don't know she goes to the christian church or even that she was in the area of Paris - France.
A young boy takes part at the Manif pour Tous rally in central Paris and stands close to stickers by Identity Block, an extreme right group asking to chase the islamists out of France.
A priest held the host high as part of the january 1st mess in Saint Ambroise church close to the Bataclan, an area hit by the terrorist attacks of 13th November 2015 in Paris - France.
The Priest of Nanterre Church points at a drawing made from the kids of the parish to show the racial diversity of the community with european, african, arab and caribbean origins.
INTERVENTION - On a file asked to delete (not deleted ) by a member of security forces watching the commemoration activities for the assasination of 4 members of the jewish community at a Kosher market. France is home to the third biggest jewish population in the world after United States and Israel.
AbdelGhani Merah, 40 years old, stands for a picture in front of the memorial center for the victims of terrorist attacks in Nice. Abdel Ghani is the older brother of Mohamed Merah, one of the first young islamist terrorist that hit France in 2012 and marked the beggining of attacks by young radicalised french people.
A man leaves the improvised memorial corner at the Hyper Cacher market for the victims of the attack that took place at that jewish market in Paris where islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly kidnapped several clients and murdered 4 of them in the days that followed Charlie Hebdo massacre.
INTERVENTION - File recovered after being forced to delete the picture by a group of men at the Mosque of Genevilliers area in Paris - France.
Passengers of a subway train (as well as myself who was travelling in the same trian) are seen on the platform after being ordered to evacuate the train and the area because of a menace of bomb.
View of a paint given to Veronique Roy by her brother the day of the birth of her son Quentin. Quentin converted to Islam and with the time assumed an strict lecture of it and completely changed his habits, not taking part on the family celebrations and asking the mother to take this paint off the wall or turning the paint face in to hide the image. He later join the Islamic State in Syria where he supposedly died while commiting a Kamikaze attack in Irak.
A picture of Sami, 21 years old at the time of his death, is seen in the car of Aziza Sayah. Sami, Aziza's son, was a young man to took a radical vision of Islam after a few months of endoctrination by local Takfiri group preaching violence and left to Syria in 2014 where he later died.
Police officer visit the crime scene in Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris where Xavier Jugele, one of their colleagues was killed the evening before by a terrorist assailant who was later killed at his time.
A relative of a victim of the Bataclan terrorist attacks holds a rose she bring for the memory of a dear one. On November 13th 2015 terrorist groups attacked different areas of Paris and killed more than 130 persons, 89 of them at the Bataclan concert hall. This attacks represented the deadliest terror attacks in France since World War II
Bilal Bley Mokono, a survivor of the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th 2015, tells his story in the middle of a meeting for the commemoration of the attacks. Mr Mokono was close to a kamikaze in the Stade de France area and as result of the explosion he is today on a wheelchair. He constantly points at the lack of support victims are getting from the government
A woman stands in front of billboards with posters of different presidential candidates for the French elections.
Remi, 37 years old from Martinica Island, constantly repeats "WE MUST TERRORIZE THE TERRORISTS" and shows a sticker that calls to vote for far right candidate Marine Le Pen. Remi was visiting the memorial place at Champs Elysees avenue in Paris where the night before terrorist Karim Cheurfi, attaked and killed one police man and wounded 2 others before getting killed too.
Calais - FRANCE. View of the facades of different shacks and makeshift shelters of "The Jungle" refugee camp in Calais - France. Some 5.000 people including children, elderly persons and many people with different handicaps live in very precarious conditions waiting try their chance to cross the border towards UK. Calais is an area known for its cold weather, strong winds and continous rains.
Portrait of Mohamed (part of a instant polaroid portrait series), a 27 years old refugee from Sudan. When asked to write what is for him the Republic he said "The Republic is a good square where people can come to manifest and demonstrate".
View of the Statue of Marianne with teargas canister exploding all over during a protest against recently elected President Emmanuel Macron takes place in Place de la République square in Paris downtown
Protestors clash with police forces at a demonstration against the election of Emmanuel Macron as president of the country.
From left to right: Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, Afganistan, Irak. The presence of women in the camps of Calais is very rare and due to cultural and religious practices women don't move too often around the camp areas, some women however are seen around, mostly chirstians from Erithrea and Ethiopia. In Dunkirk the female presence is much more evident, mostly kurdish women from Syria and Irak.
(Part of a series of still life objects) View of a teared up French flag that is part of the objects left by visitors in the memorial place in the name of the victims of terrorist attacks in Nice. On july 15th 2016 Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a extra heavy way truck over the people that was assisting a public event in Nice, a very touristic place in French Riviera. The attacked resulted on the death of at least 86 people from some 19 different countries.
Young members of muslim and jewish communities light candles and sing typical jewish songs of celebration to close an inter-religions meeting to discuss cultural and religious aspects and facilitate better understanding and dialogue between the 2 communities.