Like a Bird came together over a span of five years. Afghanistan, Dagestan, the Gaza Strip, India, Indonesia, Iran, Senegal are all places that have one thing in common: a significant Muslim population. In portraying circus life in each of these places, we wanted to highlight a little-known aspect of the ‘Islamic World’ – an aspect that is neither defined by religion, nor in any way irreligious. The overwhelming majority of people photographed in this book are Muslims – yet none of them were photographed because they are, but because of what they do where they are.
There is an Arabic proverb: “Wherever one suffers, hope is born”.
‘It’s almost impossible to imagine. That feeling you have when you are completely off the beaten track. When there is nothing other that desert, war, suffering. But suddenly: a boy on stilts. His silk suit shines, in dazzling contrast to the dusty facade in the background. He stands powerful, proud, free. Not stern, however. He is laughing, juggling playfully. The truckload of Kalashnikov-bearing fighters seems almost as ridiculous and misplaced as the idea of walking on wooden poles in what has been called the largest prison on Earth: the Gaza Strip.