The Crescent Project

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The Crescent, The Star, The Cross, The Void

This project aims to be a constantly ongoing journey inside the world of Islam in France and the many faces that compose this complex multilayered reality built by long years of racial, political, cultural and even spiritual issues in a troubled geopolitical context. This project is a represention of the many paths followed by different sectors of the population and their intersections, and looks to better understand the relations between the different actors of a fractured and compartmentalized France. Through audiovisual mixed media documentation made of traditional photojournalism, still lifes, interventions of images, portraits and some other documentary approaches the work looks to put together, in a very personal way, lives and stories many times seen as parallel, but that play a very important role in the collective life. A reflection about a society as a puzzle where its pieces are not always fitting together in order to find a form that better integrates all this elements and to contribute to the construction of a more auto-critical, inclusive and self-aware society.

The name of this project is a reference to the symbols that represent the largest monotheistic religions. Each symbol can be used to represent history, culture, knowledge, spiritual quests and celebrate diversity or to create division and hatred amongst people in the name of supossed sacred and invisible superior forces. "The Void" is that place in the middle that is unknown, rarely discussed, and is underappreciated. It could be a neutral zone or, even better, an area of convergence and respect, but it is instead a place where we throw our fear, intolerance and ignorance.

This project has been developed with the support of MAGNUM FOUNDATION - On Religion Program.

About the author:

Oscar B. Castillo: I'm a documentary photographer Born in Caracas - Venezuela. I have been living in recent years between my home country and different places in Europe including Italy, Spain and France. My work focuses mostly on socio-political issues and their consequences on the relations between different sectors of society with special interest in youth, community and urban violence and the innitiatives aimed to improve those situations. My work have been published in major publications like New York Times, TIME Magazine, L.A Times, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Spiegel, LFI - Leica Magazine, among many others and has been awarded and exhibited internationally.

In collaboration with:

Karim Baouz: Born in Paris - France, Karim is a journalist, writer and camera operator for different TV stations and production houses. Collaborator of Paris Match, France 2, TF1, ARTE and BBC, his work is a close view to the French excluded sides of society and the many difficult some sectors of society are facing in today’s France.

Sam Lavigne: Lavigne is an artist and programmer based in Brooklyn.