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Francesco Merlini nominated for the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie 2020

January 29, 2020

Francesco Merlini is one the 12 nominees of 2020 edition of the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie, with his project Akodessawa. The award ceremony will take place in Paris on February 25h.

In Lomé, behind a rusty iron gate, a big sandy yard with two big metal awnings protect from the scorching sun men, women and kids who, lying and sitting on benches, wait for customers to sell their goods: talismans, charms, skulls, bones, heads, horns, skins, paws, shells, feathers, herbs and living animals. This is not just a market, this is the World’s largest voodoo market, the Akodessawa Marche des Feticheurs.

The goods on sale are mainly parts of animals including snakes, chameleons, cats, dogs, turtles, scorpions, crocodiles, monkeys, elephants, parrots, owls, big felines, hyenas, porcupines, starfishes, sheeps, horse, warthogs, baboons, goats, bats and fishes, all the constituents for voodoo fetishes, rituals and traditional medications. Voodoo is a practice through which humans try to domesticate nature in order to unfold it, admitting the impossibility of total control. Sacrifice is the necessary tool to start any dialogue with the world of non-humans. 

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