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Home Exhibitions Central European House of Photography Silvia Vaculíková/ SK / Memories of the Mankind 10.5 . - 24.6.2018
Silvia Vaculíková/ SK / Memories of the Mankind 10.5 . - 24.6.2018

Memories of the Mankind
The main topic of the photo exhibition Memories of the Mankind are the customs of nations or ethnic groups. Folk traditions in developed countries are extinguishing. However, there are still places where the traditional customs in their natural form exist. I think that a photograph is a good way to showcase these contributions in order to pave the way for reinforced advocacy of the respect and support for cultural diversity.
Since 1998, the China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) has launched a call to photographers all over the world to document folklore phenomenon extensively and in depth. To this end, CFPA founded the Humanity Photo Awards (HPA), a biennial international photographic contest. This event is blessed with UNESCO’s support.

I have won several awards at these  competitions. This exhibiton shows selected  photographs from the winning  collections. In 2011  I was given Award for Documentary Photo  for portfolio “Voodoo in Benin“, in Kunming , China , and in 2015 in Beijing, China   – 2 prizes for 2 series of documentary photographs for portfolio “Bungee Jumping on Pentecost Island”, and “ The Big and Small Nambas Tribes”.
The uniqueness of this exhibition lies in the distance of the two countries and in the consequent observing  differences of cultures and ethnics groups  which are  not accessible to many people. Ancient customs and religions are presented to the exhibition visitors in a discreet and interesting form – a photograph. They bring new experience and information about simple, interesting people and, at the same time, they broaden visitors horizons and knowledge.
Pentecost Island, Naghol  - the birthplace of bungee jumping
Vanuatu is a state in Melanesia made up of 83 islands and until recently it has been known for cannibalism. Ritual places, dances and life of the indigenous peoples on the islands are unique and astonishing.
The original idea behind my visit to the Republic of Vanuatu, thousands of kilometres away from Europe, was the festival called Naghol, or  known as nanggol , Land Diving, by ethnographers, which is a ritual birthplace of bungee jumping and takes place on Pentecost Island. It is considered not only as an expression of masculinity and a rite of passage for young men, but also a good way to ensure a bountiful yam harvest, i.e. sweet potatoes, next year. The older the diver, the higher  the platform he is jumping from. Free fall from a tower with only liana vines tied to the ankles needs a lot of courage and self-control. The life of each young diver depends on the correct length of the  vines from the height of the platform for his jump.

Malekula - the island of Small and Big Nambas customs, traditions and rituals
The tribes of Small and Big Nambas  are said to be unpredictable, wild and fearsome, especially after having several kawa drinks prepared from the ground roots of local shrub. Poets would say that drinking kawa is a key to open a dialogue with God, in fact, it tastes like a sort of clay mixed with ginger. Kawa has nothing to do with coffee that we know.  Members of other tribes living on the island have due respect to Nambas.
African Benin – Voodoo in Ouidah
The word voodoo originates from the word vodoun in the Gbe language used by Fon and Ewe tribes. It means spirit or religion. In 1996 the Benin Government recognized voodoo as traditional religion. About 40% percent of the population follow voodoo, which for them is a complete way of life, including culture, philosophy, language, art, dance, music and medicine. Ouidah – once the most important slave port of this West African country is the spiritual heart of voodoo in Benin today.

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