Vodou Sevis for Ezili Danto

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Below is a short clip of the beginning of a Vodou ceremony I attended in the Gran Rue, Port-au-Prince. While I am of the opinion that all ritual ceremonies are highly performative in their very nature, the presence of several video cameras and many foreign visitors in the Peristil certainly skewed my reading of the service as ‘real’. If there is ever a ‘real’?

I couldn’t help but think much of what was taking place was performed not only for the lwa and vodouisants present but also for the camera lenses who were continually bickering and tripping over each other in the space. Seemingly involved in mirroring certain expectations and projections of this largely foreign audience, the houngan Papa Da, the hounsis and drummers didn’t appear to be too put off by the intrusive cameras right under the noses…I personally found it too much having the camera filming so close to my face. I left after a mere 3 hours, while the ceremony continued until the small hours of the following morning.

Here is a wobbly flip clip shot whilst dodging other predatory shooters.


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