Friday, 4 September 2009

Paula Marina: Iemanjá

Photo © Paula Marina-All Rights Reserved

Born in Recife, Brazil, Paula Marina is a journalist and photographer who currently lives and works in in Sao Paulo. She started photography at the tender age of 18 years old, attending various courses at SENAC, and working with prints and enlargements in a makeshift darkroom in her bathroom.

Her website showcases a broad panoply of photographic interests, ranging from fine art to more travel oriented photography, however what caught my attention was her photo essay on Iemanjá.

Iemanjá is the Goddess of the Water in the Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda religions, and December 31 is when, in addition to celebrating New Year’s Eve, large crowds of its adherents are celebrating the Festa de Iemanjá near Rio's beaches. The goddess is offered flowers, gifts, perfume and rice which are cast into the water.

Like Santeria, it is basically a possession religion in which adherents assume the form of deities, both for worship and magic.