Sunday, 17 June 2012

Rasha Yousif: At The Madrasa

As Rasha Yousif writes on her Vimeo page, Islam is the second-most practiced religion in India following Hinduism, while 24% of Kerala's population is Muslim. Muslims of Kerala believe that their origins in the area started in the 7th century AD when Islam originated in Arabia.

During my The Oracles Of Kerala Photo Expedition-Workshop, Rasha worked on a number of multimedia photo projects and one of her Soundslides (now converted to video) photo films is her At The Madrasa, whose still photographs and audio were taken at the madrasa of Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid.

The photographs are in monochrome, and Rasha has done very well in merging the various audio tracks that include the students voices, and religious chants. You will see these Muslim children learning the Qur'anic texts and theology probably in the same style as their forefathers/mothers did centuries ago.

She is a photographer from the island nation of Bahrain, and is only the second Middle Eastern participant in my photo expeditions-workshops since I started them 10 years or so ago.

As a historical note, the Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid in the Kodungallur is the first mosque in India, believed to have been built in 629 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar, who was a Persian slave and a contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad's disciples.