Cambridge Eco-Mosque, Mill Road, Cambridge, January - March 2019
Mill Road in Cambridge is home to a developing Muslim community. Julia Johnson is a community-based documentary photographer living in this area. Julia documented the Eco-Mosque’s development, up until its First Call to Prayer on 15.3.18. The photographs are not only significant in terms of acting as a historical record for the community, or as a celebration of Muslim faith practice: they are also a visual reminder of the development of community as a process, aside from the Mosque’s final outcome – which will naturally benefit the community of Mill Road in a number of exciting ways.
Julia Johnson grew up travelling around the Middle East in the 1980s with her family; at a time when Kuwait City, Bahrain and Dubai were developing global businesses to promote their trade. Driving through the urban environment and its surrounding deserts she remembers the sight of building constructions, water towers and ‘nodding donkeys’. By the time the horrors of the Gulf War unfolded her family had returned to the UK. She has since been acutely aware of the destruction of parts of Kuwait, a country that continually develops itself and was, for some time, her home.
With this in mind capturing the process of the Mosques’ development, sometimes chaotic and sometimes serenely beautiful, highlights the dynamic and ongoing practice essential to developing cultural communities.