Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Whisperers - Kuba Kaminiski's Documentary Project on NY Times' Lens Blog

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As I write this, today is Halloween. I think I found a suitably creepy yet interesting story to relate. Strangely enough, it's true.
In a remote village in Northeast Poland, there lives a group of people known as "Whisperers." They associate themselves with the Catholic Church - the Church does not reciprocate. The Whisperers cast spells and take spiritual "patients" who need their prayers and incantations.
Kuba Kaminski, a young photographer from Warsaw, decided to document the Whisperers in pictures.
(Click Here) to read the whole story on the New York Times' photography blog, Lens.
Having no language in common with the Whisperers, Kaminski was able to get close enough to capture some wonderful images of them.
The Whisperers receive people from far away, and typically pray to help them. However, there is a dark side; they can also pray to hurt or even kill others. There is a story of a woman asking for a prayer for her neighbor to die. The Whisperer made the necessary prayer, telling the woman that if her neighbor turned out to be a good person, the woman herself would die. Well, you guessed it. The requestor slid under a tractor sooon after and perished.
Isolation does interesting things to populations. Just like a group of fish, separated from the main population by large lakes drying up and turning into a series of small ponds, evolves in unpredictably different ways from its neighbors in other ponds, so do people who live insular lives, disconnected from the rest of the world.
Cool story. I long for a photo project like that.