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The Crescent Moon


Shaystah Dean’s daughter Hana Adam Shah, Christchurch.
Photo credit Ans Westra

The Crescent Moon | Photographs Ans Westra | Text Adrienne Jansen | Alcove and Foyer

29 February – 17 May 2020

The Crescent Moon: the Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand gives a face and a voice to New Zealand’s Muslims of Asian descent, who form the majority of Muslims both in this country and in the world as a whole.

In the making of this exhibition renowned photographer Ans Westra and writer Adrienne Jansen travelled through the country, catching up with people in their everyday lives. They met a very diverse group, ethnically, culturally, and theologically. There are lawyers and farmers, computer trainers and butchers, fourth generation New Zealanders and new migrants. They talk with disarming honesty about the media, about 9/11, about identity, about their faith – but mostly they just talk about their lives.

The men and women who feature in this exhibition and the accompanying book represent the great diversity of heritages of the many regions of Asia, and reflect complex patterns of migration. Many comfortably and confidently occupy hybrid worlds, combining labels such as ‘Kiwi and Muslim’, ‘Asian and New Zealander’.

All express an emergent, indigenous Islam in the Asia-Pacific region.

A project of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, this exhibition provides a captivating and often surprising insight into the lives of Asian Muslims – an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s population makeup since the first Muslim Chinese gold miners landed on these distant shores over 130 years ago.

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