Paris Exhibit Examines Muslim Life in Urban, Multi-Cultural Environments

June 12, 2004

Source: The Daily Star

On June 12, 2004 The Daily Star reported, "The exhibition Musulmanes, Musulmans (Muslims)...recently opened in Paris at the Parc de la Villette...Olivier Roy, one of France's most respected social scientists and the show's curator, wanted to explore how men and women live their religiosity in the context of sprawling modern cities. Five complex urban centers were chosen: Cairo, Tehran, Istanbul, Dakar and Paris. The question Roy wants to put to the public is: Just what does it mean to be Muslim in a changing, urban and multi-cultural environment? But the challenge taken on by Roy and his team at the Villette is: Can the socio-cultural aspect of a religion be portrayed in photographs, documentaries, installations and other artwork? Each city is given a separate area in which photographs, sculptures and artwork on a theme are shown. Short documentaries on pertinent subjects such as the veil, divorce, Ramadan or immigration are screened in a room adjacent to the cities' spaces. 'Each of these cities allow us to state one of these themes, showing the diversity of Islam without becoming caught up in an image bordering on a cultural anthropology,' says Roy."