First Photobook Award Winner: Hidden Islam

Hidden Islam offers a peek inside Italy's invisible Islam. Photographer Nicolo Degiorgis explores the various temporary mosques in Northeast Italy, where anti-Islamic campaigns and the shortage of worship spaces are particularly acute. Seemingly dull black-and-white images of the diverse building exteriors are printed on folded pages, but upon opening the gatefold, full-color scenes inside these mosques are revealed.

France – 

The entry to this years’s Award were rifle with gatefolds and Hidden Islam uses this device on every spread. This hardcover book is a clever survey of the inconspicuous locations where Muslims in Northeast  Italy have been forced to gather to pray, its pages opening to reveal worshippers behind non-descript facades. 

 

“Touching upon the sensitive issue of Islamophobia in Western Europe, ‘Hidden Islam’ is a five year long project, made between 2009-13, which decodes the ground reality of Italy’s right to worship freely. With an estimated population of over 1.35 Muslim practitioners, shockingly enough, Italy has total number of 8 mosques which leads to proliferation of makeshift places of Islamic worship. Social and political pressure from right-wing party, Lega Nord has shown a large minority being forced to pray in; Warehouse, Shop, Supermarket, Apartment, Stadium, Gym, Garage and Disco.

With a map of North East Italy on the cover of the book, titled Hidden Islam « Islamic makeshift places of worship in North East Italy, 2009-2013, is made out of 45 gatefolds showcasing a very interesting and clever contrast between the black and white buildings used for worshipping, with the unfolded intimate colour images of muslims performing ‘Salat’ (offering prayers ) on Fridays.” – Manik Katyal, Founder, Emaho Magazine

Photography

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