Rituals: Ceremonial – NOWNESS

For the latest episode of our series exploring worship and spirituality around the world, French contemporary artist and filmmaker Caroline Monnet explores ritual practices among indigenous First Nation tribes in North America. Here she explains the complexities of depicting ceremonies that ordinary remain secret from the eyes of the world:

“Given the importance and abundance of ceremonial practices to most Indigenous communities, there is an inevitable curiosity from the outside world to ‘know’ or ‘see’ how these sacred rituals play themselves out. But can anything remain sacred and private in a world that demands immediacy and a projected image of what sells unscrupulously as the truth? Can Indigenous communities practice their cultural beliefs without the fear of a camera trying to capture the ceremony? “Often, this quest for forbidden knowledge speaks to ravenous cultural consumerism and a lack of guidance from a non-Indigenous standpoint. The narrative is built on a collage of original 16mm, 8mm and digital footage pieced together to provide a hypnotic rhythm that draws us inward to remind us that some ritualistic practices are confidential and belong exclusively to the communities who perform them.”

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