The Hawzas of Damascus

This photo essay is one of the two constituting my PhD fieldwork at the University of Exeter (UK).

The hawza is the Muslim Shi’a traditional school that represents both a scholarly institution and a place of learning connecting all major Shi’a communities.

My research aimed to visually challenge both current representations of Muslim religiously identified communities, and the communicative dimension of photography per se.  

The exhibition combined two researches, one in Bahrain, the other in Syria, both of which carried in 2010, and it was the first of its kind to portray with intimacy a complex social construct informed by a remarkable continuity between the pre-modern and contemporary periods.

The exhibition travelled quite extensively from the University of Exeter in February 2012 to The Royal Asiatic Society in London in December 2013.

It was shown at the Universities of Oxford and Durham in the UK, at the Brunei Gallery, where it was visited by more than ten thousand people in less than three months, and… finally… at the British Museum.  Yes, that British Museum!

 

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