This is a love letter to you, Uncle Farid. And here are the questions I was never able to ask you: Did you ever believe in Allah? Did you ever try to come out to your parents? How did the news feel, in your body, when you were diagnosed with HIV? Were you able to feel fully queer, and fully Arab, in France?

“Made Of Smokeless Fire” is an exploration of LGBTQIA+ identities within Muslim culture in France, which are often underrepresented and simply ignored. This project is an homage to Farid, who passed away in 2013, and to Amina, who left us in 2024. France has the largest proportion of Muslims in the Western world, estimated at 8.8% of the population, or 5.57 million people. But islamophobia is still omnipresent. At the intersection of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and racism, queer Muslims are actively fighting against these inequities while redefining their own cultural and religious heritage.

Although some have had to cut ties with their families, others have reinterpreted the Qur’an, found ways to heal with their parents, and nurtured welcoming and safe community spaces in France – there isn’t just one story. “Made Of Smokeless Fire” has become a necessity for me, a tunnel for examining the trauma of silence surrounding queer lives. With secrets tied in loss of memory due to immigration and a colonial past, the project has begun to not only feel like an homage to Farid, but to queered and racialized bodies – bodies in liminality.

Artist Bios

  • Camille Farrah Lenain

    Camille Farrah Lenain

    Camille Farrah Lenain is a French-Algerian documentary and portrait photographer who grew up in Paris, studied Photography at l’ESA in Brussels and at ICP in New York City (virtual). She relocated to New Orleans in 2013, where she teaches Photography at Tulane University, and works on long-term projects with a focus on intimate portraiture, exploring the notions of stereotypes, collective memory, and plural identities.

    Camille is a 2024 Leica Women Foto Project Awardee.

    Her clients include: The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Marshall Project, The Washington Post Magazine, T Magazine, Sierra Magazine, ELLE Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, and Libération.

    Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, including at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Arab World Institute, Festival Incadaques, Les Boutographies, and PhotoVogue Festival. She was previously an Artist-in-Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center.


  • Leica Women Foto Project

    Leica Women Foto Project

    The Leica Women Foto Project serves to empower the female perspective and its impact on today’s visual stories. We believe the shape of a story is reactive to the storyteller’s perspective, developing a narrative that too often is reflective of individual truths. The Leica Women Foto Project encourages diversity and inclusion in visual storytelling to amplify voices typically underrepresented in photography, discovering the breadth of shapes formed by a single story.​ Conceived in 2019, the initiative has evolved to offer cash awards and business opportunities and Leica equipment to serve the female perspective in the world of photography.

Made of Smokeless Fire

 coming soon

Featuring: Camille Farrah Lenain

Presented by Leica
  • Leica Women Foto Project


ON VIEW AT: Container 1

View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 1 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

Related Events

Jun 12024

Perspective is Power: Leica Women Foto Project Panel

Learn more about the projects of the 2024 Leica Women Foto Project awardees and their photographic journey.

Learn More

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings