A Photographic Exhibition
By Christian Fessel
Mr Christian Fessel is a freelance photographer, lighting cameraman and director. Prints can be purchased exclusively from his website.
It is the oldest and surely the most beautiful Mosque in Germany. Built almost 90 years ago when the surrounding area was just plain land, and suffered severe damage during the final days of World War II. It is though now a quiet place and it presents a serene atmosphere in every respect. The majestic structure of the Mosque with its green dome and imposing minarets attracts attention of many a visitor.
Although these days the architectural beauty of the unique architectural beauty of the Mosque is somewhat hidden between buildings and its showing its age when inspected closely, there is still the 1001 Nights feel when approaching the Mosque. Some even call it the ‘Mini Taj Mahal’.
I approached the owners, the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, asking to photograph the Berlin Mosque some three years ago. Ever since, there has been an extremely friendly cooperation. Meanwhile a wonderful friendship-like relationship has grown out of the many meetings and photo sessions.
The photographs in this edition are by no means neutral or documentary (well isn’t photography per se “documentary”?). You will see the dust and dirt on the walls, the chipped paint and the scratches. None of those have been retouched. Yet when I first entered this Mosque I felt something. You may smile now but I really had that 1001 Nights feeling, the feeling of bright colours, the feeling of joy.
That is what I will try to show in these photographs: the feeling I had when I set up the camera. This is true for the ones on display.
The prints you see are only a small part of the Berlin Mosque collection. It is an on-going process which will eventually lead to a book, a calendar and an iBook with stunning time lapse photography and films.
I am very grateful to everyone at the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement to let me have this opportunity.