Ashura mud men by Guido Dingemans
© 2013 Guido Dingemans

    • Title: Ashura mud men
    • Artist: Guido Dingemans
    • From: Tilburg, Noord-Brabant Netherlands

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    Artist Statement

    "Iranian Muslim men in trance, covered with mud, mourning on the streets during the day of Ashura, November 25, 2012. They chant and hit themselves over the head for hours, up to the point of exhaustion. Some even faint.

    "On the Day of Ashura, Shi’a Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, and third Shi’a imam. It’s a day of mourning and usually involves the sacrificial killing of animals and self-flagellation. In the small town of Bijar, Iran, both men and women also cover themselves with mud. A local ritual that, quite literally and effectively, erases all external differences between people, creates a strong sense of community and expresses, among other things, the notion that all men are equally puny when faced with the greatness of God."

    Image details:
    Camera: Canon 550Dv
    Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    ISO 100
    1/8s (shot with a low shutter speed to catch the movement)