Andrew Esiebo (b. 1978, Lagos, Nigeria) started out in photography by chronicling the rapid development of urban Nigeria as well as the country’s rich culture and heritage. Soon, he began integrating multimedia practice to pursue the investigation of sexuality, gender politics, football, popular culture, migration, religion, and spirituality. Recently, his work has evolved beyond freelance photography and begun exploring video and multimedia work
Esiebo earned his Diploma in Journalism at the International Institute of Journalism, Ibadan, Nigeria in 2005. He is currently based in Lagos, Nigeria from where he works around the world.
Annalisa Butticci is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. She received her MA from the University of Padua, and her PhD from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Her 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.
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.