Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life before Prozac, 24 April 2010
This review is from: African Ceremonies (Hardcover)
A fast disappearing world being tarmaced over with western notions of "development" and systematically being wiped out with HIV/Aids, TB and malaria. Then of course there is the pounding of the Bible.

Old rituals, beliefs handed down, preserved and reconfigured anew in festivals of colour and passion are captured by the lens. These are cultures where art is not consigned to be studied in an alienated gaze in glass cased museums. This art is embodied in everyday life. It exists in the scuptures, shields, coffins, dress sense, dancing and the beliefs.

The forms expressed here are the basis of Cubism, not its rational for existence, but note the difference. Here it is adorned in household objects, not locked away with dollars attached.

Sure there are no trappings of civilisation "BMW, X Factor, house prices, computer IT, porn and street violence". There is the ever constant fear of disease, being chained to a community, knowing how exactly your life will unfold. However a human spirit exists that lies beyond is brought out in these photos. This is somewhat missing from Vogue idealisation of beauty and the esteemed country life. It is no wonder Leni surrendered the West and went to live with the Nuba.

These pictures are the antithesis of all the portrayals of Oxfam and Newsnight with malnourished people awaiting aid western donors. This highlights how people have existed in vibrant cultures for eons and the vivid lives they have lead.

The photographs have crystal clarity, with full colour intensity as life parades in a riot of passion. Buy it before it becomes swamped in Citalopram.
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