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CRAZY WORLD, CRAZY FAITH 2013

Andrew Esiebo & Annalisa Butticci

An evangelical church in Lagos, Nigeria is the set where many interconnected narratives unfold, as the believers take part in a gigantic collective ritual. Once a month, at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Prayer City, the special service ‘Power Must Change Hands’ – popularly known to Lagosians as PMCH – promises salvation, cleansing, and above all, material prosperity. Such deliverance appears to be intrinsically linked to a monetary exchange performed by the priests, who orchestrate the exchange of spiritual salvation for money with the support of the alimony collectors.

The short film is structured as sequences that show a number of trance-like episodes. We witness private moments of enlightenment and surrender to the faith, alongside intense chanting and dancing, bouncing and occasional fainting. Salvation is linked to the logic of value exchange, as sacrifice and good will become the rhetoric that feeds the well-oiled machinery of Pentecostal churches and their massive spread throughout Africa and Latin America where they hold multi-million businesses. In irreversible detriment of other epistemologies, the evangelical expansion is invested in the demolition of ancient belief systems, heavily condemned as fetishism by new-born Christians on both sides of the Atlantic.

To reach a wider audience and gain followers beyond Nigeria, PMCH is also broadcast live on satellite TV and over the Internet. The incidence of the evangelical phenomenon beckons an updated version of the old missionary-colonisation paradigm as corporate organised religion in the 21st century.

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Country

Nigeria

Genre

religion/spirituality

Language

Yoruba-English

Runtime

2:38

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Andrew Esiebo & Annalisa Butticci

Andrew Esiebo (b. 1978, Lagos, Nigeria) began his career as a freelance photographer, chronicling the rapid development of urban Nigeria as well as the country's rich culture and heritage. He began integrating multimedia practice to pursue the investigation of sexuality, gender politics, football, popular culture, migration, religion, and spirituality.

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Annnalisa Butticci is Assistant professor of Cultural anthropology at the University of Utrecht. Buttici's areas of research include visual and material culture of religions, religious aesthetics and politics, religions and societies of West Africa and African diasporas (with a special focus on Ghana and Nigeria), and methodology for social science research especially qualitative methods.

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Theme

Mythology

Schedule

Thursday, 3 November, 2016

CRAZY WORLD, CRAZY FAITH <span>2013</span>
CRAZY WORLD, CRAZY FAITH <span>2013</span>
CRAZY WORLD, CRAZY FAITH <span>2013</span>