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On the ritual: Jean Rouch and Catherine de Clippel at the Musée de l’Homme

Whether observing the funeral practices of the Dogon or the cult of the Hauka in Ghana, the filmmaker and photographer Jean Rouch immortalized the rites of numerous African tribes in the early 1950s. An exhibition at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris presents little-known photographs resulting from that work. The images are juxtaposed with the work of an admirer of Jean Rouch, the filmmaker and photographer Catherine de Clippel who, inspired by the master, spent thirty years traveling to remote locations, in particular villages in the Mali countryside. She brought back vibrant testimonies of possession rituals and social celebrations centered around a fetish. “In these societies, everything is subject to a ritual: birth and death; but also important events in life, such as university exams or being promoted at work,” she explained. “Jean Rouch has been an immense help in my photographic work. He encouraged me to go beyond journalistic work and dig deeper to report on the profound truth of these peoples.” A truth we can admire for a brief moment during this exhibition




Musée de l’Homme
17 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre
75116 Paris