Faces in the Dark: Click me!
Faces in the Dark: Click me!
This was my third Night of the Museum in Berlin. And I’d say – the best one, so far.
A rainy, almost hostile weather prevented most of the visitors to come.
Good for me!
When the corridors are empty and your only companion is your camera, and you alone, walk among the ancient artifacts, covered in a strange luminescence, it is only than when you discover, that a step through museum’s threshold takes you to a journey to another world.
Below impressions from “Lange nach de Museen”: Markisches Museum, Kulturforum, Ethnographic Museum, Asian Museum, Humboldt Box and Berliner Dom.
Kulturforum – Potsdamer Platz
Museum of Etnography and Asian Art
Berliner Dom and Humboldt Box
End of Log
Voodoo or rather as spelled originally – Vodou with it’s black magic conotations, Voodoo dolls, and above all – zombies, conquered not only Hollywood but also imagination of many artists, writers and game designers.
Becouse of this most of people know what the stereotype of Voodoo is.
But as I am not a person who likes to make his judgement on what people say, or what the stereotypes are, I was always wondering…
Is Voodoo really so frightening as it is used to be shown?
Once in Stockholm, in Etnographic museum visiting a special Voodoo exhibition from Hatiti, I had a chance to confront my previous assumptions with the reality.
And the conclusion were far more disturbing than I would expect.
If you want to feel the atmosphere before getting more into my story about Voodoo, see this:
One of the first things that the exhibition made me realise is that Voodoo is not a game of some dumb, adrenaline seeking teenagers who decided to do some black magic on Saturday night.
Voodoo is a real thing, and it makes an actual practice and influences the daily life of tens of thousands of people. Mainly in Haiti. But not only.
The roots of Voodoo come to 16th century, when European colonisators started bringing slaves from Africa to the New World.
Africans brought their beliefs to Haiti, and those were mixed with native mithology and catholicism.
That’s how Voodoo emerged.
Practicing Voodoo means to interact with lwas – spiritual entities or energies, which although dwell in a separate realm, can influence people in many ways. Lwas have many names and many powers, they are legions of them.
It is common for Voodoo practioners to become possesed by lwas, especially during the dancing ceremonies.
Below you can see figures representing one of the lwas. The exhibition presented a few of them.
It was bit disturbing to get to know that the artist that carved it, followed the images that haunted them in their dreams.
It got even more peculiar, when I got to know which of lwas is considered to be the most powerfull in Voodoo.
He is called Damballa – the great snake.
Europeans know him with a different name – Lucifer.
But this story will be continued in the next log.
End of Vodou log 1
Log 4 – Blue Moon Station – Berlin
I was devoted to my past.
I was foolish enough to stop by the road and look behind me. I was convinced that I am accompanied by the shadows of my never-realised dreams, and chased by the echoes of the words untold.
I was scared that the chances I have wasted will fill my heart like a stones thrown into a rusty bag of memories. And that this will become my burden, throughout the whole journey.
I had my sight set to the ground, too ashamed to look around to see the beauty and the gentleness of the people passing me by.
I was deaf and blind, locked in schemes of my previous mistakes, thinking that if once failed, I am predestined to be defeated over and over again.
I was wrong.
And now as I slowly learn how not to avoid the sunlight, one clear thought arises in my mind.
If today, I am allowed to hate anyone in the world it should be myself from the day before.
Soundtrack – by P.O.D – Click me!
End of Log 4
But it weren’t the treasures of Swedish land that I will remember as most astonishing.
It was something else.
Something which seemed to be … not entirely from this world.
Bizarre ritual costumes from Papua New Guinea.
Weird Siberian sculptures carved in bones.
Native American’s dream catchers, Japanese Theatre Masks and many more…
All of this awaited for me in Stockholm’s ethnography museum.
Walking through this exhibition was like taking part in one of the Indiana Jones adventures.
Mix of art, ritualism and spirituality, strange figures gazing at me through the glass,which seemed as thin as thin is the border between the world we can see and the realm of the spirits.
Soundtrack: by Dead Can Dance – Click me!
Ritual Masks from South America
A figure holding a skeleton, made of various animal parts and carved human skull. This sculpture represents “cannibal dancing society” I can’t remember where exactly was it from, but I am sure it is a “no go” area…
Golden statue of Budda Amida from India.
Carved elephant’s tusk from Kongo.
And a shaman’s robe from the same region.
I know the quality is bad. But those Siberian figures were really small. And really weird.
Something from the far East – Japanese samurai armor.
And a gallery of Japanese Theater Masks. Some show people, some show demons…
A Totem from North America. When it glows it means that the spirits of the Ancestors are present…
As mentioned in last part of Stockholm Impressions, I wanted to write about Voodoo.
Well, this was the last and the best part of the exhibition. However, I won’t keep my promise – and I will write about Voodoo in a complete, separate log some other time.
For today to close the last chapter of Stokcholm Impressions – let’s have a picture of ritual costumes from Papua New Guinea.
And a practicing shaman.
From Royal Armory to space shuttle toilets , from quorter of the admiral of the Vasa ship to troll&gnome shop, from kings apartments to Voodoo exhibition … few more images from my journey to Scandinavian capital.
Let’s go for a walk!
Photos – me&brother
Soundtrack by Lunatic Soul – Click me!
Stockholm’s landscape: city scattered on several islands.
Becouse of it”s location, while visiting Stockholm having a short voayge by ship is like tasting a beer during Oktoberfest in Munich ( still on my To Do list by the way…). It’s a must.
And if we are talking about the ships, in Stockholm you can see the one which is probably most spectacular in Europe, or even in the world. The great, wooden warship – Vasa.
It gives me a sense of satisfaction, when I think that this huge warship – largest in it’s time, was built for one main purpose: to defeat 17th century Poland.
See that 5 Meter long Vasa model in front? It took 5 years to built it.
See that 60 meter long Vasa orignal in the back? It took 2 years to built it.
And probably that’s why, Vasa sunk just after leaving the shipyard…
One last look into the Vasa – at the admirals quarters.
Rumor says, after his ship sunk…he got promoted.
And these are quarters of another Very Important Person. Royal Apartaments in Royal Palace. One of the rooms of king of Sweden… Errr… what was his name?
This is the place where history is being made. Or to be more specific – celebrated.
The hall in the Royal Palace – where Nobel prize lunches are being held.
And something which can be found in the Palaces basement. One of the armors in Royal Armoury.
This one in particular belonged to Polish king – Sigmund Vasa the Third. How did finish up in Stockholm?
Well, for some time – Polish and Swedish kings where literally a family.
I guess that’s why so many wars occurred…
Big ceremony in front of the Royal Palace – we thought it was the Swedish king who would finally bother to officialy greet us in Stockholm. But it was just a change of guards…
And now something special:
And something we were all waiting for.
A space shuttle toilet.
And what about the Voodoo?
This will come in the next and last part of Stockholm impressions…
Log 3 Blue Moon Station – Berlin
Soundtrack – by Mike Oldfield – Click me!
To truly be alive means to be awakened.
We are all asleep.
Trapped in a moment, in a glimpse between „now” and infinity. Lost in a labyrinth of our relations, in a sophisticated web of giving and receiving, a chain of transactions which never seems fair nor justified.
We are consumed by our fears and our desires, we are overrun by our ambitions and pleasures, we are victims to small and big compromises which corrode our hearts and our beliefs.
We are discouraged by a never ending mantra of our complaints, doubts, curses and excuses.
That’s how we slowly fall asleep. And that’s how we forget.
We forget that everything that surrounds us, everything is just a mere reflection of the a true and only Reality.
That we are in the middle of the night, and the pale, shining moon above our heads is not the light that we are waiting for.
That a darkness will be gone, and that a new dawn will come.
And although we are not ready yet, although our eyes hurt – it is our destiny to finally step out of the night.
To leave the dream and to wake up.
And once awakened, we wil see that all our fears, doubts, all our suffering even the most profound, all will be gone, in a same way, in which bad dream vanishes when conquered by the rays of the rising sun.
End of Log 3