The Day of Ashura is commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH.
According to Eighth Shia Imam, Ali al-Rida, it must be observed as a day of inactivity, sorrow and total disregard of worldly cares.
Part of the event the Azadari ritual where suffering and cutting the body with knives or chains (matam) is performed. Something that was banned by the Shi’a Marja’ Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon but still is practiced in Bangladesh and India.
Photographing the Day of Ashura, was the beginning for me on a long-term project on photographing different practice of the Muslim religion between various denominations of Islam and more specifically the countries and regions where those differences are observed.
ABOUT KOSTIS NTANTAMIS
Kostis Ntantamis was born in Athens, Greece in 1983. Studied electronics and worked as a telecommunications technician and then R&D of his own designs of prototype systems and antennas. Though always thinking and wishing of working and living as a photographer, he only started on 2013, which was the year he took the final decision on leaving everything behind and work as a full time photographer.
He is mainly interested in photographing conflict zones, the aftermath and also daily life of people in different countries and cultures.He is now working as a stringer for major news agencies such as RIA Novosti and Agence France-Presse (AFP). Also, for various French, Belgian and German newspapers and magazines either doing featured stories or spot news. Major publications include, among others, magazines and newspapers such as Liberation, Newsweek, The Times and The Guardian. [Official Website]