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Exhibition "framing muslims. images | objects | publications“

Exhibition "framing muslims. images | objects | publications“ in the foyer of the University Library at Freie Universität Berlin

The opening of the exhibition took place on Tuesday, 18 November 2014, at 6 pm and will be exhibited til 28 January 2015. Prof Dr Gudrun Krämer gave an introduction to the exhibition.

Please find a flyer of the photo exhibiton here.

Photos from the exhibition are published online at the Berlin daily  “taz. die tageszeitung”.


framing muslims

images | objects | publications

The act of photographing is a constant framing of the world, and so is scholarly writing. We often forget that not only do we ‘take’ pictures but we also ‘make’ them. Every picture or text we create requires a selection of information, every frame implies exclusion. This exhibition aims to reflect the ordinary, the mundane and the sometimes under represented aspects of everyday life in various Muslim communities and societies.

What is framed as ‘Muslim’ is often pious, overwhelmingly masculine and unreservedly traditional. The exceptions either confirm the rule or slide into reductive images of protest and transgression.

The photographs in this exhibition present the complexity of lived experiences: places where prayer goes hand in hand with ideas of amusement and simple pleasures offset the harshness of conflict-ridden environments; also communities which are in conversation with non-Muslim majorities and occasions where the human-ness of the subject takes precedence over its Muslim-ness.

Alongside photographs from different Muslim contexts we show a selection of material objects which contribute in some way to the experience of being a Muslim across a variety of places. Our selection, far from being comprehensive, also reflects what researchers have found worthy of bringing from their respective research context to Berlin. Each item is accompanied by a short note telling the story of the object: How is headache cured with the help of an inscribed bowl in Pakistan, and how in Kenya? In which way is a pair of pink, handmade leather boots from Turkey related to prayer? And why does a Berlin based Ph.D. Student wear a green cap on an Uyghur wedding in China?

In a third section, publications of members of the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, both doctoral candidates and supervisors, are displayed. The volumes are presented in a way that invites visitors to access and look through them.

The project ‘framing muslims’ documents also the wide range of regional and cultural contexts that make up the diversity of research projects at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies.