Africa is a distant continent that has always awakened my curiosity and stirred my imagination. The customs seem so different, the ceremonies so extravagant, that without the proper introduction, it is impossible for us to relate to its compelling reality.
When we began the Cuerpos Pintados project, we were barely aware of the tradition of what we dare to call a “primitive” people’s usage of diverse forms of body adornment, ranging from painted designs, scarification, tattooing and perforating the skin to attach objects, such as lip plates or nose rings. The practices seemed so removed from our reality that, at first, I was unable to envision how Africa fitted into the original vision of Cuerpos Pintados.
Searches lead one to discoveries. As the Experimental Workshop broadened it search, we discovered the photographs of Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith. I was astonished by the sheer audacity of these two women who made the life choice of documenting Africa’s vanishing ceremonial traditions. Imagine dedicating your life to scouring the core of the African continent, with the sole purpose of recording what no one else may ever be able to record again!
What fascinates me about the about the process is that being attractive females proved to be an advantage. By disarming male skepticism with their charm and tenacity, they were able to take advantage of their fragility to gain access to ceremonies no Western male could ever witness. This book is ample proof of their strength, talent, and flair.
Working with Carol and Angela has been rewarding. Thanks to them, we can now enjoy the magnificence of the Maasai leafing through the pages of this fascinating book. The story of these two photographer/anthropologists and their achievements is material for tomorrow’s myths.
Size : 7.5 x 10 cms.
Pages : 120