Vodun and the good life

Au Marche IMG_0576

October 7, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Juha Vakkuri and Matti-Juhani Karila: Mami Wata and God’s Bits of Wood
Jouni Kaipia: Dances with Spirits

In the West African country Benin a good life usually includes a large family, good health and a safe income. A good life is having the different areas of one’s life in balance. When problems arise, many people turn to the traditional Vodun religion. Soothsayers, medicinal herbs and objects of power help establish contact between people and the spirit world. They offer the sense of a life-protecting force.
In Benin, the Vodun religion is strong. Beninese author and sociologist Dominique Aguessy says Vodun can help people learn more about themselves and to develop contacts in the world around them. Forefathers are important in Vodun.
The individual Vodun gods are present in people’s everyday lives. Objects collected by author Juha Vakkuri and journalist Matti-Juhani Karila, photographs by architect Jouni Kapia, medicinal herbs collected by cultural worker Georgette Bango, and an interview with musician George Agbazahou all express the force of this traditional faith system and its ability to rise to the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Curated by Katariina Timonen, Mami Wata and God’s Bits of Wood was shown at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in 2011–2012.
The exhibition is part of the 15th Anniversary of Villa Karo’s Friends.