The Long Night of Tijanis

The jury's description of the nominee: 

"Original story that bring us a surprising information of a trip and meeting of Senegalese Tijanis brotherhood in Italy. Beautiful pictures, we loved the vibrancy of the colours, the photographer achieved to highlight the spirituality of a religious event even when transported to a different context and performed in unusual western locations."


The long night of Tijanis is a reportage created during the last three editions of Gamou, held in Conegliano Veneto (northeastern Italy), where every year, for about 20 years now, members of the Senegalese Tijanis brotherhood across Europe gather for a big religious event which is attended by about 7,000 worshippers.

The photographs highlight the strange effect of a religious event transported to another context. The moment of individual or collective prayer takes place in two locations that are unrelated to spirituality: oil stations and a sports hall.

The dress has an important role. Every year the worshippers buy a new dress to show off for the occasion.By Simone Sapia
The Dahira members benefit from a break at the service station to pray.By Simone Sapia
Worshippers have found a good place to pray in the parking area of the service station.By Simone Sapia
Relatives from different parts of Italy meet in the houses to drink a coffee.By Simone Sapia
Young guys gather outside the sports hall.By Simone Sapia
A worshipper prays in loneliness in the grass field near the sports hall.By Simone Sapia
One of the many stalls that sell religious items.By Simone Sapia
The posters of the Tijanis Marabout cover the walls of the Zoppas Arena.By Simone Sapia
The entrance hall become place of meeting and socializing.By Simone Sapia
A couple of worshippers are about to enter into the prayer room.By Simone Sapia
All night long worshippers listen to speeches and prayers.By Simone Sapia
Women catch all the important moments during the night.By Simone Sapia

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