The Desire of Spirits – a review of “Spirit Desire” photo book by Donald Molosi
In Spirit Desire: Resistance, Imagination and Sacred Memories in Haitian Vodoun, Sokari Ekine – through simultaneously real and surreal photography – invites the viewer into various stages of ritual in Haitian vodoun.
Throughout the collection of photo essays, we are guided by the eye of the photographer to witness the interplay between bodies and the environment, as well as the communion between bodies and other bodies, thereby exploring the significance of the materiality of the human body in ritual, which itself is a portal to the unseen.
This corporeal embodiment of the desire of spirits presents bodies as sites of celebration and resistance, where social norms are often suspended or interrogated as the spirits demand. This collection of essays is a triumph in storytelling mostly because of how real the subjects in the images are to the eye in their full humanity. It leaves one wishing that there was more of this sort of work that captures the liminal space between the biologically living and the biologically dead.