Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession

Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession

MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2021

“Korean shamanism – spirit possession” show Korean shamans of the North Korean Hwanghaedo-tradition in liminal moments. Liminal moments are periods in which they experience ecstasy and trance because they seek contact with spiritual entities or are possessed by gods, spirits or ancestors. They are in an intermediate position “betwixt and between” that is very difficult to describe and as a matter of fact is experienced in a manifold of ways.

The Hwanghaedo-tradition was imported from North Korea to South Korea by shamans that came as refugees after the Korea war. The ecstatic and wild ritual practice survived in South Korea, because many refugees perceived this tradition as part of their culture and identity. Among the several regional shamanism traditions practiced in South Korea today, Hwanghaedo shamanism is widely acknowledged as the one that retains the magico-religious traits that are the spiritual essence of Korean shamanism´s belief and practice.

Dr. Dirk Schlottmann is a Visual Anthropologist and Photographer. After living, working and researching for 10 years in Korea at several universities, he currently lives in Berlin.
He has conducted fieldwork and research in South Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Germany. The photographic work circles around Asian spirituality, religious culture and altered states of consciousness (trance, ecstasy and spirit possession) and centers essentially on the relation between man and the sacred. “Korean Shamanism” is a long term project since the beginning of the Millennium. The goal of the project is to give an impression of ecstatic rituals, ceremonies with elements of trance and shamanic practices.

‘Korean shamanism – spirit possession’ was the Black & White Photojournalism Series of the Year 2nd place Winner in the MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020.

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism - spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

© Dirk Schlottmann: Korean shamanism – spirit possession / MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020 winner

‘Korean shamanism – spirit possession’ was the Black & White Photojournalism Series of the Year 2nd place Winner in the MonoVisions Photography Awards 2020.


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MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2021