Thursday, 16 June 2016

Ulet Ifansasti | City of God

Photo © Ulet Ifansasti -All Rights Reserved
Many in the West have a skewed view of Islam and its 1.4 billion adherents, and much of the fault lies at the door of the mainstream (and other) media that is unwilling or unable to portray a balanced and more nuanced view of this worldwide religion.

Philosophically, I'm against schools that are not secular but in many cases (such as this one) it's poverty - rather than faith- that forces parents to place their children in an Islamic boarding school.

City of God is a photo essay on Lirboyo, an enormous traditional 'pesantren' (Islamic boarding school) in Indonesia. Located in Kediri, East Java, the boarding school is home to roughly 17,000 students, or 'santri'. It was founded in 1910 by KH Abdul Karim. Its pupils and students spend their days reading the Quran, studying Islamic scriptures and learning Arabic. They have around 20 hours of activities daily, beginning at 4am and finishing at midnight.

Ulet Ifansasti is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer, with a particular interest in social, environmental and cultural issues. Born in Papua and currently based in Yogyakarta-Indonesia, he started his career at a local magazine in Yogyakarta, Indonesia before joining Getty Images in 2008. 

His work has been published in many leading organizations and publications including GREENPEACE, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, STERN, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, USA Today, LIFE, National Geographic Traveller among others.