Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti
In Vodou, life is a continuous existence. There is no before and after of birth or death. We simply pass from one life state to another. If you cannot see or feel beyond the realms of the here and now it means you have not freed your imagination, your soul. The rituals of Vodou help you towards this freedom but ultimately the spirits are there within you and if you open your mind they will seek you out because we only exist through the existence of each other.
In my own photographic and narrative work on Haitian Vodou, I set out to shift the gaze from representations that depict Vodou as animal sacrifice, spells, zombies and devil worship and present a truthful narrative. One that engages through an inclusive consciouseness and spirituality which forms the living history of Haiti and by extension, always the crossings, the waters that form the many bridges of time, place and people: the Taino, Igbo, Yoruba, Fon, Kongo, Dahomey.
Living through Vodou is and has always been, an act of resistance and decolonization and Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti is an important contribution to understanding Vodou which, in the words of the curator Alaka Wali
“…….. demonstrates the power of human creativity. It goes beyond the usual stereotypes to bring us into a wonderful and deep world of spiritual beliefs and ritual practices created and maintained by the Haitians during times of hardship and suffering brought on by enslavement and its consequences. We hear directly about what Vodou means from the practitioners, in their own voice.”