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Gaël Turine November 17, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Benin.

Abomey, Benin 2008

Gaël Turine (b. 1972 France) received a degree in photography in 1997 and shortly after began “Aveuglément” (Blindly) photographing the cooperatives for the blind in West Africa. This project was published in the Photo Poche series edited by Robert Delpire in 2001 and was also exhibited in five European capitals and awarded twice. In the same year, after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan he published the book “Being 20 in Kabul”. Gaël has received a grant from a private Belgian foundation to work in Eritrea and in 2004 received the first grant from the Aftermath Project to cover three more trips there. This body of work has been exhibited in 2007 at Visa Pour l’Image. His work has been published in Figaro, Paris Match, Libération, l’Express, Le Monde, Time, Der Spiegel, among others. Gaël is a member of the VU’ photo agency and is based in Paris and Brussels.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from of my book project on Voodoo. It’s about the route of the Voodoo religion, from its African origins in Benin to Haiti and the United States. Benin is the heart of Voodoo because of the ancient beliefs and the link it has with the Dahomey Kingdom which developed  through out Western Africa. In Benin, the cult is practiced all over the country and by all types of people- openly for some, quietly for others. Voodoo priests are very popular and maintain a natural connection with the politic and tribal authorities. During a ceremony that took place in a remote village in the region of Abomey, this man, who was in a trance, was acting the protective mask dance. This traditional voodoo dance will make the people living in the house protected from bad and negative spirits.”