A killed darling

Western Cape Province, South Africa

Before presenting a big project like Rites of Life to the public you first have to boil it down to strong stock. During seven and a half years of travel I shot more than 100,000 images. 287 of these finally made it into the book. During the editing process some darlings inevitably had to be killed. This is one of them, an image of a Xhosa male initiate who smears his face with white clay to ward off attacks by witches.

Xhosa youth at initiation

The image later on made a comeback as one of ninteen photographs chosen for a series of fine art prints exhibitied at J&L Gallery in Stockolm in February 2009. The series is called Pathways and this particular image is named Fingertips.

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