Re Imagining Relations, 2011

This series was inspired by the actions of a group of Muslims in Paris who risked their lives to rescue hundreds of Jews during the German Occupation. Focusing on current Jewish-Muslim relations, it explores the potential of photographic montage to highlight similarities, investigate differences, and visualize an imagined transformation of dichotomies into coexistences.

Combining photographs taken at the Grand Mosque of Paris, where Jews were protected during the German Occupation, and photographs taken in synagogues and mosques throughout Paris and Istanbul, I constructed imagined spaces in which other realties might unfold, and where coexistence, respect, mutuality, and exchange exist between both religions.

In his book, Writing in the Dark, Israeli author David Grossman eloquently speaks of the potential of a “literary approach ” in this urgent time, the need for a compassionate perspective in the negotiation of diverse conflicts of the present. In this series, it was my desire to explore the potential of a ‘visual approach’ as an “act of redefining ourselves as human beings in a situation whose essence and methodology consist entirely of dehumanization.”