Charlotte Rush-Bailey is a photographer who migrated to the world of photography from a corporate career that covered three decades of marketing and communications positions in a variety of global industries including energy, financial services, media, conservation, technology and professional services. This gave her opportunities to work with people all over the world, and to learn to appreciate cultural nuances and the influences of socio-political forces.
She has just produced her audio-slideshow Blood And Turmeric of her stills and ambient sound recordings made during the festival of the Oracles in Kodungallur whilst participating in my The Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition/Workshop™.
So hold on to your seats, you'll get sweaty palms perhaps...but I'm certain you'll be bowled over by it.
The festival is called Kodungallur Bharani, a wild and unusual localized religious festival near Kochi. It is here that once a year the so-called Oracles of Kodungallur meet to celebrate both Kali and Shiva. By their thousands, these red-clad oracles arrive in this area of Kerala, and perform self mortification acts by banging on their heads with ceremonial swords repeatedly until blood trickle down their foreheads, and daub the wounds with turmeric.