Alöscha Tschechow is a photographer currently based in Helsinki, Finland. He shared with us here at NAKID his latest project about indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego and their connections to our modern life.
The project consists of four images+cover art and accompanied by sounds/music (in production used authentic Selknam chants performed by the last survivor of the tribe).
Selknam. Spirits never die.
Extreme south of modern Chile, long ago before Europeans settled on this land. It is a matriarchy paradise. Women of Selk’nam tribe perform as made-up ‘spirits’ to control men of the tribe. The village is terrified and ready to do anything to please the demons. The secret is kept behind seven seals under penalty of death. Once a man discovers the truth and tells others. A revengeful massacre of women follows. However, the men continue using ‘spirits’, but now in their favour.
For the last thousands of years humans haven’t changed a lot, they are easily manipulated. Manipulation techniques remain basically the same. Fear and ignorance turn people into a submissive flock. A primitive system of spirits made-up by women proved unquestioning efficiency. Modern ‘spirits’ haven’t changed fundamentally and got some attributes of the modern society: microphones, cameras, bombs, batons and cultural symbolic objects.
“This is a project about how we still bear our dark ancient inner selves despite of technological and civilization progress. We’re still being held as hostages by ‘spirits’ who mastered the control of our basic fears and emotions.”
Model: Alexander Sutyagin
Make-up artist: Dany Geykhman
Sound and general cooperation with: Anastasiia Agafonova (in production used authentic Selk’nam chants performed by the last survivor of the tribe)