Jacob Olupona, professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard Divinity School and professor of African and African-American studies in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently sat down for an interview about his lifelong research on indigenous African religions. "The success of Christianity and Islam on the African continent in the last 100 years has been extraordinary, but it has been, unfortunately, at the expense of African indigenous religions," said Olupona.
About this journal: African Arts is a quarterly journal devoted to the plastic and graphic arts of Africa, broadly defined to encompass sculpture in wood, metal, ceramic, ivory, and stone, and less familiar work in fiber, hide, mud, and other materials. Included in the mandate are architecture, arts of personal adornment, contemporary fine and popular arts, and arts of the African diaspora. In addition the journal encourages dialogue on other forms of African expressive culture: film, theater, dance, and music.
Synopsis: IN SEARCH OF VOODOO: Roots to Heaven weaves together a personal, cultural, and spiritual journey - capturing the vibrant tales of Voodoo, West Africa, and Benin’s favorite son, actor Djimon Hounsou. Following Hounsou back to the country of his birth, it’s the story of a man rediscovering the core of his past and the lessons that the world can learn from a vibrant, yet misrepresented way of life. This documentary seeks to illuminate the practice of faith that is prevalent within West Africa, specifically Benin, aka “the cradle of Voodoo”. There is a dark and unfair mythology surrounding the central tenants of that faith that must be dispelled. Voodoo is an organic belief system that values the most positive aspects of nature and life. The spirits of Voodoo are regarded as beneficent beings, each controlling their domain with respect and harmony rather than violence and conflict. IN SEARCH OF VOODOO: Roots to Heaven gives a world-wide audience an inside experience to Voodoo ceremonies, led by well-respected priests, that has never been captured on film before.