Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dead and Alive Project with Klaus Bo

Greenland 
In Upernavik, the soil is too hard to bury the dead. Instead, they are laid to rest in concrete and stone-covered coffins above ground. Often, these coffins face the ocean, so that dead sealers can watch the place they once worked. via

Photographer, Klaus Bo, has set forth a project documenting the different cultural experiences surrounding death. The project is called “Dead and Alive Project.”

In some places – like Denmark – death is taboo, in other places death and the deceased are natural parts of the life of the living. The background for this project is the desire to show how death rituals often reflect life. With its selection of different death and burial rituals, visitors to the final exhibition will gain insight into how much any given culture’s values, hopes and dreams are reflected in their thoughts about death and life after death, and how differently we treat our dead from culture to culture.”

Klaus has travelled far and wide to document different death traditions. Below are just a few of the photos that will be featured in the April issue of National Geographic with small insights to their stories:

Ghana
Church members carry Nene Nomo’s body to his grave. His coffin pays homage to his profession, chicken farming. via
Nepal
Ramri Tamang’s body is cremated on the outskirts of the village, surrounded by family members. According to their Buddhist beliefs, it is important to destroy the body so that the spirit cannot return to it. via
India
Bodies are cremated at Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi’s main cremation grounds. More than 150 bodies are cremated there every day, and its frequent use has caused deforestation in the area. via

Madagascar
Family members dance with and celebrate their ancestor during a Famadihana. via

Haiti
Women in Port-au-Prince chant to lure the spirit of a deceased mambo, or Vodou priestess, into a kalabasa squash (seen floating in a bowl in the center). Afterward, they will release the spirit at a nearby road junction. via

To read more on the project, go to the project website HERE
To view the feature on National Geographic, click HERE

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