Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Philip Montgomery | The Masjid

Photo © Philip Montgomery - All Rights Reserved

I had planned to feature an Islamic-themed photo essay a few days ago on the occasion of Eid el-Fitr, but I was in Guatemala for the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, so couldn't find the time to do so.

The Masjid, or the mosque, is the place of worship for Muslims. These places of worship range from the simplest to the most elaborate architectural structures (the most beautiful, in my view, are those in Istanbul and were either built or influenced by the great Ottoman architect Koca Mi'mâr Sinân Âğâ, who was either an Armenian, or a Greek).

The smaller places of worship are technically not mosques, but are called 'mussaleya" or some derivative thereof.

"...a person kneeling towards Mecca is not a stranger, but a brother or sister in faith."
The Masjid is the work of Philip Montgomery, and is a photo essay on the places of worships for the
the immigrant Muslim communities within New York City. Philip writes that for these new immigrants, the Masjid acts as an incubator, a neutral space, providing refuge from the outside world.

He found an incredible diversity of cultures and practices; whether in Harlem, Jamaica, Brooklyn or Queens...practices divergent from one origin to the other, whether West African Muslims, Egyptians, Palestinians, Indonesians...all bringing their rituals and characteristics to New York City's melting pot, and keeping their individual traditions intact but united under Islam, despite the slight nuances of each.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay-Area, Philip Montgomery is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the Photojournalism and Documentary Program at the International Center of Photography and is a recipient of the 2009-2010 ICP Directors Scholarship.