Friday, 11 November 2011

Alice Smeets: Voodoo

I thought I'd continue my posts on photographic essays that deal with religious syncretism and feature the compelling work by Alice Smeets on Haitian voodoo.

Every year, thousands of Haitian pilgrims converge into the basin of Saut D'Eau's sacred waterfall to pray. They throw their clothes into the cascading waterfall where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary (known as Erzulie in Haitian Voodoo), appeared in the 1800s.

Haitian Voodoo was created by African slaves who merged their ancestral religious traditions with Roman Catholic practices, allowing them to continue observing their ancient beliefs under the scrutiny of the French colonialists. Today, many move freely between the two beliefs...the very essence of syncretism.

Alice Smeets is a photographer based in Belgium. She's interested in documenting social and cultural issues, with a special focus on Haiti and modern witchcraft.

Her clients include Geo, The New York Times, Sunday Times magazine, Le Monde, Internazionale, Days Japan, PBS, De Morgen, Glamour Magazine, ZDF. She has worked for charities like the Kindermissionswerk and UNICEF.

via Erica McDonald's DevelopTube