Imam Hassan Cakmak

One of my courses in photography at Mannheim University dealt with jobs that keep society together. I decided to portray the imam of a Turkish community to get an outsider insight into community life and Islam in general. People meet in the mosque to pray together, to engage in discussions or just to have a tea. I was particularly impressed by the role of the imam: similar to a priest in the church, yet more accessible and accepted as a person of trust across the spectrum. These photos show my impressions of the Fatih Mosque and its community in Mannheim.

An elaborate curtain at the Minbar, the place where the Friday sermon is delivered. The Islamic creed and the Kaaba are knitted into the curtain.By Francesco Futterer
The Minbar in detail: The Fatih Mosque was built thanks to donations. Many community members lent their help during the six-year construction period.By Francesco Futterer
The imam contemplates and enjoys the silence in the empty prayer room after the Friday sermon ended. By Francesco Futterer
The prayer room with a view on the Mihrab, the praying niche. The room and the tiling on its walls are elaborately designed and crafted.By Francesco Futterer
A portrait of the imam.By Francesco Futterer
After the Friday sermon, the imam engages in a conversation with community members over a cup of tea. They talk about mundane things, but more controversial discussions occur, as well. By Francesco Futterer
The entrance to the mosque during the noon prayer on a Sunday.By Francesco Futterer
The imam leads the Friday prayer. His sermon touches upon women in Islam. He wants to highlight the respective verses from the Quran and how they can be interpreted. By Francesco Futterer
After the noon prayer on Sunday, the imam gives lessons in Quran. Everyone who is interested can participate. The lessons examine the different interpretations of Quranic verses.By Francesco Futterer
A praying man in the empty prayer room.By Francesco Futterer