For his series New Dutch Views photographer Marwan Bassiouni (b. 1985, Switzerland) travelled the polders, industrial estates, villages, town centres and suburbs of the Netherlands, photographing the landscape from the windows of mosques. Rugs with oriental and Islamic motifs, walls with colourful floral patterns, plus radiators, Venetian blinds and suspended ceilings frame the unmistakably Dutch view.
Between January 2018 and February 2019 Bassiouni visited over seventy of the four hundred or so mosques in the Netherlands. His decision as to whether he took pictures at each mosque depended on the landscape around the building. The photographs show real interiors, combined with the actual view from the mosque. In New Dutch Views, Bassiouni shows the diversity of Islam in apparent contrast with the equally diverse yet instantly recognisable Dutch landscape.
Bassiouni’s sharply focused and detailed photographs question how Islam is represented in the West, and show a society in which several cultures exist alongside and with each other. New Dutch Views is a symbolic portrait of his double cultural background, and it highlights the fact that a new Western Islamic identity is emerging. In the exhibition the photographs are flanked by the photographer’s own autobiographical reflections.
Marwan Bassiouni, son of an Italian-American mother and an Egyptian father, grew up in Switzerland. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2018. He was awarded the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Student Grant, and has won the Ron Mando Photo Talent Award, the SBK Sprouts Young Talent Award and the Harry Pennings Award.
A book also entitled New Dutch Views has been published to accompany the exhibition. Featuring all the photographs in the series, it was designed by –SYB– (Lecturis, €30).