Time: From 10:00 to 23:30, 05/11/2016
Place: Chula 43 Nhật Chiêu, Hanoi, Vietnam
Travel photographer Tewfic El-Sawy will fly all the way from New York City to Hanoi in November to introduce his latest photo book about the Vietnamese religion of Đạo Mẫu and its ritual, Hầu Đồng. As the first and only non-Vietnamese to publish a photo book about the tradition by far, Tewfic would like to invite Hanoians and Hanoi’s expats to attend three photo talks, during which he will introduce his book “Hầu Đồng: The Spirit Mediums of Viet Nam” and give insights into the indigenous and ancient tradition/culture aspect of Vietnam.
His large, coffee-table format photo book features over 100 large color photographs and more than 60 pages of text, which explains the ancient religion of Đạo Mẫu, its rituals, its pantheon of deities, along with a narrative of his own experiences documenting it in Vietnam over almost two years.
Members of the Hau Dong community in Hanoi will attend the talks.
Tewfic first attended a Hầu Đồng ceremony in the northwest township of Sa Pa in September, 2014, after which he decided to study the ritual, its history and practitioners.
He discovered, after thorough research, that no non-Vietnamese photographer had ever completed a comprehensive documentary or photo essay on the ceremony. As quoted in the Việt Nam News, Tewfic “took it as a sign” that he had to be the first to publish a book about the tradition.
He has documented the maelstrom of trances, possession, spirit worship, fortune telling and clairvoyance, fashion and pageantry, sacred music and hymns, faith, belief, superstition, the supernatural, nationalism and history that constitute Vietnam’s Đạo Mẫu and its ritual; Hầu Đồng.