Hello - if you’ve been sent this link, it’s because you’ve been forwarded it by someone. Below, you’ll find my ideas for my project about young people’s relationship with religion. 

What do I need to do? 

I want to create a project that encapsulates your relationship with religion. I want to photograph you and any items of religious significance to you (for instance, your childhood Bible).

I also would like to include a ‘letter’ of sorts, where you ask yourself the question “What does religion mean to me?” - it doesn’t have to be long or deep, but just to provide context to a viewer. 

On the day, please wear clothes that don’t have logos on the outside - I want this project to not be like an ad. 

What will I get? 

I’m more than happy for you to use these photos on your social medias or anywhere else. I won’t be posting them until I feel like the project is near completion/completed, but feel free to look at my other work for the type of style it will be!

What will they be used for? 

They will be used as part of this series. It has already been featured by The Photographers’ Gallery, and I intend on submitting it for gallery exhibitions etc. In short, it could go anywhere that ‘art’ goes. 

Any questions? 

DM me on my Twitter/Instagram (Linked above), or email me at: oscartblair@gmail.com.
Here’s the work i’ve made for it so far: 

Jodie, 18/19. 

Jodie’s relationship with religion.

The Christian faith, to me, has always been about love. love for yourself in the same way that god loves you, love for others, love for the planet. it also means being the embodiment of that same love - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 has always resounded with me for that exact reason.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

As much as i want to say that i am always those things, it’s not true. Life is hard. It consistently throws curveballs at you, and you can’t always be kind, patient, resilient. But love alone is worth the fight for those things. because as much as I don’t deserve it, god loves me for who I am, even though I sin, and i have such obvious faults. Even though i am so far from perfect, and I can’t always see the way god wants me to go, he loves me unfalteringly anyway.

The truth is, this love connects every one of us - the believers and the non-believers, and even those who are of different religions entirely. love manifests itself in so many different ways - yes, it’s singing in worship, and praying, and going to church, but it’s also the pound you gave that homeless person in the city, and it’s also protesting in the streets for racial justice. love is using your gifts, speaking with and for those whose voices need amplifying, love is being your authentic self and showing others how to do so.

The common factor in good deeds is love. religion to me is being even a tiny fraction of that love.

Hasan - 18/19

Destiny - 18?

Destiny’s relationship with religion. 

Does God believe in us ?

Destiny Boka-Batesa - they/them

"Do you believe in God?" "That's the wrong question. Does God believe in us?"

[...] I know God has funny ways of answering prayers

but I saw this [my dad's death] as more of a sick joke, now

so I think time, and God even,

is unintentionally Machiavellian

because if God was so omnibenevolent, why do they allow suffering?

it takes and it took and it will continue to take leaving you crippled in fear

fear of the unknown, the uncontrollable

does time dictate us?

There's a scene from my favourite film, La Haine, that asks this very question [i.e. the title and the first three lines]. I think about this scene a lot, especially with my relationship with my religion. It’s not the easiest ride, nor is it meant to be, but I struggle with being vulnerable. My dad and my family are devout Catholics, always finding solace within God, but this is something I struggled with a lot...being vulnerable. The idea of sort of leaving these worrisome thoughts and problems (especially with my anxiety) to a higher power. It doesn't make complete sense to me, I'm almost living in blind faith, or what Satre calls "bad faith": to not live to my full potential, denying myself of my [religious] freedom.

The rest of the text comes from my poem "time is a currency", where I wrote it as a final goodbye to my Dad, who passed away 5 years ago. Many, including myself, turn to religion after losing a loved one for comfort. But recently, my relationship with religion has brought me more questions than answers. Christianity has been both politicised and weaponised to enable things like colonialism, the climate crisis and genocide in the past and present, reminding me of the evil, pain and hurt created in the world. The same ones that exist by the same people we're supposed to believe share God-like qualities, because we're all made in Him. It's all so contradictory to me.

So, I decided to flip the narrative around and questioned what it would mean to be at the receiving end of believing. Does God believe in us? How does God display such faith/unconditional love in a humanity that is running itself to the ground? You see, I wouldn't ever stop being Catholic, nor would I deny God, ever, but religion always leaves me with a million and one questions, some of which I'll know the answer already, others of which I never will.

Anya - 18/19? 
Being part of a religion has guided me in my beliefs and given me guidance on the way I live my life. Quakers have allowed me to explore my values and what this means for me in this world we’re living in: one which is unequal, destructive and abusive to so many.

Being part of a faith group has provided me with a community of like minded people, which I always felt I could return to for grounding and support - it’s a trusted community away from home and education. Having this space growing up, spending time with other like minded young people has been really valuable. Again it has provided that safe space, with other young Quakers, to explore religion, our own lives and the world we live in, away from school and other communities.

I had the chance to see how others interpreted religion and what Quaker beliefs meant to them and their way of life. Being in a Quaker family has also influenced my relationship with religion (and in particular Quakers) - Quakers have always felt a part of me and my life, is something I share with my family and feel a connection through.

For me, religion provides a space to explore my beliefs rather than tell me what I should believe. This is something I’ve found valuable about Quakerism - I’m aided in seeking out the ‘Truth’ and my beliefs and supported along the way

Isla - 18.