Why do Germans become Muslims? What makes non-believers or Christians convert to a religion which is worshiped in a language and semantics they mostly don’t understand and that has traditions that have little in common with our cultural roots?
The German media frequently report about the growing number of conversions to Islam. This is an issue that fascinates as much as it creates anxiety. In the media Islam is commonly described as “the other”. From this point of view it does not come as a surprise that the growing number of conversions irritates and worries people. In spite of the growing interest in this issue, there is no reliable source for the number of conversions in Germany, mainly because this is a very private process that can be executed without official procedures.
In this photographic dialogue with converters, I would like to reflect on the visual representation of Islam in the Western media and on how easily a biased standpoint is established. Through Art History imagery I would like to escape from the observer’s common point of view and offer him an image discourse. Everyday situations and items, which have dramatically changed of meaning for the converters, are represented like a still life in order to make the observer aware of the ambiguity of symbols in the media. This leads to the basic questions of this project: Does an iconographic representation of Islam exist? How is it possible to analyze and present this iconography?