Moschetti, Jean-Claude (1967 – )

Artwork by Jean-Claude Moschetti

The African continent is steeped in a rich and complex history of mysticism with magic often being accepted as an integral part of daily life. Working mainly with African voodoo and magic societies in West Africa, photographer Jean-Claude Moschetti highlights African spirituality and tradition, with complex photographic compositions showing ancestors and protective spirits coming back to earth. As a Vodun initiate of the Egungun cult in Benin himself, Moschetti has a unique insight into this world of shadows.

According to Moschetti, “I don’t take pictures during public ceremonies when characters dance outside. There is more power in photographing masqueraders and believers without movement, motionless within the right environment. I don’t photograph humans but spirits, when seated they look like fetishes and supernatural creatures.”

Sacred masks and costumes transform the person who is wearing them, imbuing them with spiritual powers so that they become a conduit between the living world and the supernatural world. Through complex discussions and negotiations with spiritual leaders, Moschetti creates works that capture these unearthly moments that merge fiction and documentary, transcending the norm and bringing to life hidden worlds all around us.