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Ambivalensed Stereotypes

Islam means not only a religion, but a canvas for many non-Islamic social majorities. The verdict about what is seen as Islamic and what is not, lies too often in the daily view of predominantly beholders. Down the road, Islam is seen vastly through the filter of stereotypes, as every manifestation of Islamic life, that is beyond these clichés, simply remains unseen.

These photographs are supposed to break the framing stereotypes by causing confusion about what seems to be Islamic on first sight and what is Islamic on second sight. They show a young Muslim woman from Germany who experiences both the stereotypical perspective from people who tag her as a Muslima as well as from people, who refuse to respect her as a Muslima, due to the same stereotypes, that she doesn't fullfill. The photographs were set to show the tensions coming with a life that is lead in-between these ambivalent poles.

Captured betweeen myriad descriptions about Islamic life, many European Muslims face a restriction of their poetic and individual self-definition. By Davide Torrente
There are many stereotypes that colour Muslims in Europe as strangers and give the majority the feeling of simply detect a Muslim person by schemes. In fact, Muslim life remains far more discreet and subtle.By Davide Torrente
There is a double bind on the behaviour of any person that is marked stereotypical. Because even if Muslims break the clichés, they are still observed simply because they seem to be an exception.By Davide Torrente
The existing assumptions about Islamic life often urge Muslims to react steadily in different directions, like in a wild dance. Taking that into account, silence and tranquillity sometimes have the potential to arise as empowerment.By Davide Torrente
As religious identity should only be bound to the personal conception, Muslim individuals should be free from justifing themselves to the majority, as well as to other Muslims.By Davide Torrente
Some things simply aren't what they appear to be. One always has to think outside the box.By Davide Torrente
Facing countless ascriptions and imputations, Muslims break the clichés simply by living their everyday life and the heterogeneity enfolded within those lives.By Davide Torrente
Muslim life not only comprises religious routines and symbolic standards, but the same random moments like every other life. In light of this, the sublime goal should be to accept and cherish this kind of invisibility as well.By Davide Torrente
As long as someone feels offended by scenes like this, Europe sadly will remain a partially restricted area to Muslims following decent self-definition while simultaneously leading a hybrid life.By Davide Torrente
One page away from not being associated as stereotypical, Muslims are oftentimes othered on base of the slightest indication of their religious identity.By Davide Torrente

See Also

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zenith Photo Award 2014

The third edition of the zenith Photo Award called upon professional and amateur photographers alike to pick up their cameras and take part in the debate on what Islam in Germany looks like.