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Selk’nam. Spirits never die

Extreme south of modern Chile, long ago before Europeans settled on this land. It is a matriarchy paradise. Women of Selk’nam tribe perform as made-up ‘spirits’ to control men of the tribe. The village is terrified and ready to do anything to please the demons. The secret is kept behind seven seals under the penalty of death. Once a man discovers the truth and tells the others. A revengeful massacre of the women follows. However, the men continue using ‘the spirits’, but now in their own favour.

For the last thousands of years humans haven’t changed a lot, they are still easily manipulated. The manipulation techniques remain basically the same. Fear and ignorance turn people into a submissive flock. 

A primitive system of the spirits made-up by Selknam women proved unquestioning efficiency. Modern ‘spirits’ haven’t changed fundamentally and got some attributes of the modern society: microphones, cameras, bombs, batons and cultural symbolic objects.

selknam_religion-aloscha-tschechow
The Spirit of Religion
selknam_terrorism-aloscha-tschechow
The Spirit of Terrorism
selknam_police-aloscha-tschechow
The Spirit of Police
selknam_journalism-aloscha-tschechow
The Spirit of Journalism

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Selk'nam. Spirits never die

This is a project about how we still bear our dark ancient inner selves despite of the technological and civilisation progress. We’re still being held as hostages by ‘the spirits’ who mastered the control of our basic fears and emotions.

Model: Alexander Sutyagin
Make-up artist: Dany Geykhman
Sound: Anastasiia Agafonova (in production used authentic Selk'nam chants performed by the last survivor of the tribe)

Publications:
Nakid Magazine