Must-See Photoessay: God in the 21st century is everywhere in every form !

STORY FRIDAY

This is a time when emotions are stirred by an extremist group claiming to defend Buddhism namely the Bodu Bala Sena and others defend em saying the Temples were the guiding light to a society Sri Lankan long ago. It’s time we reminded ourselves that this is 2013.

Achcharu Boys

Eight years ago a  biblical-type disaster wrecked Sri Lanka in Dember 2004. During the Tsunamis shock and awe stunned the land.   In a few seconds a wave carrying a bomb vented carnage, trauma and devastation, tossing in derision human torsos, train tracks, trees, boats, houses and else into lifeless flesh and bone and driftwood.

During the following crucial 48 hours  the rural temples and churches and religious community institutions of all forms were the places to which people fled for succour.  As in biblical times, the hierarchy of the religious institutions and the sacred place they occupied in a society that is spiritual saved our ass.

It was amazing that a Buddhist Chief Priest in the Deep South (where the LTTE killed and bashed the little heads of the child-monks leaving a bloodbath behind)  used this terrible tragedy to protect and unite LTTE ers/civilian Thamils and civilian Sinhalese Buddhists and else in restorative reconciliatory acts of cooking meals together and spending the night in the temple together.

 When times are leveled to primitive nothingness we are grateful to these institutions and a multiplicity of em. These institutions were the only checks and balances when civilisation crumbles in such human disasters and during war.

Moment of Doubt

When Katarina hit the USA thereafter it was pitiful to see the alternative refuge of a Sports Stadium, the people stalking the streets with guns and acting in individual self defense without a spiritual community order to take over in a crisis. I felt a sense of quiet ‘belief’ in the Srilankan rapid response mechanism which had something old and valued for a community to fall back on when civilisation as we know it is in upheaval.

That was when the Gods deserted us on Dec 26th 2004 (they’ve taken a few breaks since!). Now they are re-invented and paraded in the form that the fascist group BBS favours.

The Tsunamis is gone and war is over. It is 2013 and we should be evolving from our popular spiritual and communal strengths towards an inclusive society of  multi-ethnic, multi-faith peoples which admitting disruption to the old order recognises integration of diverse beliefs  (and some new unheard-of ones) as a phenomenon of our times. Instead when God is everywhere, some prefer to keep him in the Temple, on the street nameboards and hovering around Keells Super scavenging for meat-conflicts.

How. F******. Stupid. (I picked this punctuated style  from Shanaka writer on The Score.lk)

So here’s a European photoessay on the Globalisation of God in 2013 : Religion is admittedly a disruptive but a curious and inevitable force that is everywhere. Gianmarco is one of a  small group of photojournalists in Italy who have amazing talent, vision and a commitment to researched photojournalism. Sri Lankan photojournalists: What can you do?

Image credits: Gane and Hiranya Malwatte.  Click and link through to images on Flickr.

God is Everywhere

GIANMARCO MARAVIGLIA
Milano

“There are rules  that regulate the movement of humans all around.
Internationally, the transfer of goods at the customs check points, can be limited.
But, there also exists an undefinable reality, which at the same time can be disruptive that no one can deny: Religion.
Migration, transfer, family reunions… this movement of a large number of people moving, bringing in new cultures and alien traditions, but above all cults, rituals and beliefs from their points of origin.
In this manner, even in the EU, we can slowly find new cults and ceremonies coming from diverse geographical & cultural perspectives.
From the Brazilian Candomblé to the Benin Celestial Church of Christ, the Cuban Santeria to the Tibetian Buddhism, these cults not restricting themselves to the immigrant populations, always getting a step closer, with more and more europeans exploring these new boundaries, with a possible hope of what they immagined God and religion to be.
Its the spiritual globalization, because God, or better still, the Gods, are everywhere and in everything.
If you want to support or endorse this long term project contact Laurent at laurent@echophotoagency.com

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Click through to the Photoessay God is Everywhere and have a good weekend !

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