The Crescent, the Cross, the Star, the Void

Radicalization, exclusion and degradation of the social structure are important stories to document in today's Islam in France, as are education, empowerment and inter-religious rapproachement. However within this very complex subject it is paramount to find the links between the different actors. Presenting them in thoughtful ways will enhance understanding of conflictive behaviors and how to prevent them by developing solid measures for multicultural coexistence. Through mixed media research, this project aims to build a wide experience about the many faces of these relations.

View of the minaret of the Great Mosque of Paris in France. France has the biggest muslim population in Western Europe, mostly from Algeria, Tunisia, Marocco and other former french colonies like Mali. By Oscar B. Castillo
Portrait of an unknown man on his way to assist for the friday prayers at the Great Mosque of Paris. During this activity the police made the photographer stop the street portrait session and forced him to leave the place.By Oscar B. Castillo
INTERVENTION - Mix of corrupted file and file recovered after being forced to delete the picture by a group of men at the Mosque of Genevilliers area. Part of a series that works on similar situations with Catholic and Jewish communities.By Oscar B. Castillo
Oumou Traore, mother of Adama Traore who died after police aggression, sits for a portrait at her house. Of Muslim confession, she states that there will be divine justice for the police men but that legal justice should happen first.By Oscar B. Castillo
DIPTYCH - (L) Aziza Sayah, who lost her son Sami in Syria, after giving a talk about the dangers and prevention of radicalization. (R) Certificate of Sami's death by ISIS group, not valid in France where Sami still not recognized dead.By Oscar B. Castillo
View of a torn up French flag that is among the objects left by visitors at the memorial in the name of the victims of terrorist attacks in Nice. The attacked resulted on the death of at least 86 people from 19 different countries.By Oscar B. Castillo
Youssouf Kadima, (16) born to Congolese and Tchadian parents, talks to Mrs Latifah Ibn Ziaten, mother of the first victim of Mohammed Merah, as part of activity against religious radicalization and for the peaceful coexistance in France.By Oscar B. Castillo
Nour Boudnaidja, 23 years old, has a heated discussion with another woman about the meanings and visions on women's emancipation and feminism in Islam and her idea of freedom and respect for a french young muslim woman.By Oscar B. Castillo
Portrait of Mohamed (27), a refugee from Sudan. When asked to write what the Republic means he said: "The Republic is a good square where people can come to manifest and demonstrate." By Oscar B. Castillo
DIPTYCH: (L) An image of Jesus Christ is seen hanging on a wall of the Christian Church inside "The Jungle" camp.By Oscar B. Castillo
Young members of Muslim and Jewish groups light candles and sing typical Jewish songs of celebration to close an inter-religious meeting to discuss cultural and religious aspects and facilitate better understanding between communities.By Oscar B. Castillo
View of a mixed media map aiming to cover many different aspects of Islam in France. It is an interactive map where extra content like interviews, video art and polaroids can be visited to expand the experience.By Oscar B. Castillo

See Also

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zenith Photo Award 2017

In a time when right-wing populist movements all across Europe have painted a hostile picture of Islam, what does Islam in Europe really look like? How do Muslims see themselves and their communities, and how do their non-Muslim neighbours see them?