TIFA 2022 Editorial / Photo Essay

Silent Service: The Monks of Mount Athos

  • Prize
    Gold in Editorial/Photo Essay
  • Photographer
    Mohammad Kamal
  • Technical Info
    Shot With A Nikon D850 And Nikon Lenses. Extremely Low Light Conditions And Silent Shooting.
  • Photo Date
    May 2022

The Mount Athos peninsula in northeastern Greece is an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism, and is home to over 2,000 monks. My aim was to explore the monastic mindset as exemplified by monks that have inhabited the area for over 1,200 years. I named the series ‘Silent Service’ as everything during my visit seemed to occur in hushed tones. The monks eat, work and pray in near-total silence, and often communicate in abbreviated, modest, and subtle gestures. Their lives are built on service, whether to a higher power or towards the community.

Mo Kamal is a landscape and portraiture photographer based in Dubai. His work has featured in international exhibitions including the Xposure Photography Festival in Sharjah, UAE, as well as a solo exhibition at The Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography Gallery in Dubai. His work has won winning placements in the Prix de la Photographie de Paris (PX3) contest, the Epson Pano Awards, and featured in the final rounds of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum International Photography Awards.