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La Martinière : Hans Silvester : Épouvantails


As everywhere, also in Ethiopia the peasants observed me, when I went into their fields to photograph the scarecrows.

They are the creators of these ghostly figures. For me it’s folk art.

But the peasants know very well that the effectiveness of scarecrows against birds, and in Ethiopia also against monkeys, is very relative.

These farmers in the high mountains of Ethiopia have a very hard life, and making these puppets with the family is fun and joy.

If a photographer is interested in their creature, they are happy and that creates a warm relationship.

For more than fifty years, I have been passionate about scarecrows in Europe, Asia and Africa, where I have the patience to find them.

All these trips through the fields have created the 215-page book “Scarecrows, an ephemeral art” with a preface by Marc de Smedt at the editions de la Martinière.

Hans Silvester

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