out of focus, blurry, colorful and very contrasted portrait of a healer from South Africa by Thom Pierce

Thom Pierce Sangoma

‘Sangoma’ is the name given to traditional healers who play an important role within many different sections of South African society. In rural communities they are many people’s first port of call in times of need and illness.

Through a combination of prayer, dance and medicine (Muti), Sangoma’s contact the ancestors for advice and prescribe natural remedies for illness, good fortune and physical improvement. To become a Sangoma is not simple. Chosen by their ancestors, the training and initiation can be long and arduous. The work is an emotional and physical commitment which, combined with western medicine, forms part of many people’s healthcare choices.

In recent years, Sangoma’s and institutions of western medicine have frequently worked together to define their separate roles and acknowledge the importance of each other within modern South African society. Sangoma’s are accepted in several denominations of the christian church, their diverse rituals and attire can be informed by their varying ethnicity and religious affiliation.

Monthly Photo Contest

© Jorgen Johanson

THEME: TRAVEL Deadline: 31 August 2019

Competition Judge: STEVE MCCURRY

When traveling, the only way to discover the rhythm of life of a place is to experience it.

Each place we visit has its own particular look, ambiance, and atmosphere. Understanding its people, customs and traditions is vital and there’s always something unique to capture.

This summer we want to see images that communicate the life of a place in all its splendor, and trigger our memories. Whatever the subject may be: Street, Portrait, Landscape, Documentary... We want to share your journey, visually and intellectually - Let’s travel together!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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