• Hero

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

Publication

Waska Tatay explores the rites and rituals of Bolivian witchcraft and pagan practice

Posted by James Cartwright,

Thomas Rousset and Raphaël Verona’s Waska Tatay is fairly ambiguous at first glance. The cover is a simple yellow-to-blue fade with the title placed inconspicuously on the spine; but the content is altogether more arresting. Using a mixture of reportage and staged portraiture the photo book documents the pair’s trip to the Altiplano region of Bolivia and their encounters with witch doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men; uncovering the rites and rituals of these ancient orders and illuminating some of their extraordinary mythologies.

What’s particularly engaging about this study is the counterpoint between traditions that date back millennia and their modern setting. We see a witch doctor up a tree, in ceremonial dress but clutching her cell phone to her face, a pair of women in costumes and masks sat next to a TV/VCR and surrounded by stuffed toys and shoes, and a man dressed head-to-toe as a fish in a modern room that could easily be a theatre green room. This balance between old and new, good and evil, spiritual and physical creates a delicious tension in the book, particularly for a Western reader, whose secularised view of the world will find the unification of these seemingly contradictory worlds fascinating.

Waska Tatay is available now from IDPURE.

  • 07b4a2a341882b23f55be7c2063b80ca

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 8f43d4987c9df208518057f77dc90721

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 70dacff3b6e0c28839ad8e21e9a27484

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 284aa5c66e400bcaf4e16274d17867b7

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 8871d6efa79523a6abe4c22f8344fbec

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 71923b6ebbe39759e474a0f9bd99df3f

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • A3a5c2c344cc907c170ac84016eff41d

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • B8bcde4c7e2d3ac8274de654f168300d

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • Bb97a62ad90fa8bd5f38e5db217be77f

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • Bf81f75b28e02c10597f644072f4ed26

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • Dcd27ec7b95f2187e08dff46114f5e59

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

  • 5452ea704aff9bbc9733683ea24a8644

    Thomas Rousset & Raphaël Verona: Waska Tatay

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Phlist

    It’s about time we featured photographer Peter Hapak on our site; his portraits have sure graced the pages of many a prestigious publication. His portfolio is the photographic equivalent of a box of Quality Street; not only packed with famous faces, but also cracking clients like TIME, The New York Times Magazine and The Times. In case you were wondering, he doesn’t exclusively work for publications with “time” in the title – he shot an Emmy portfolio for Variety earlier this year. Born in Hungary and no less than a fourth generation photographer, Peter has a timeless (sorry, couldn’t resist) style, finding something in these familiar faces which hasn’t quite been captured before. Thankfully, unlike a tin of everyone’s favourite Christmas chocolates, the treats in Peter’s portfolio seem to last forever. Feast your eyes, my friends.

  2. Dbglist

    We’ve posted before about how David Brandon Geeting creates striking images of seemingly ordinary objects and revitalises the age old still life. With these shiny new photographs, he bumps the beauty up to another level of aesthetic glee. Hyper-colourful, vibrant and sharp, these images are meticulously crafted compilations of – well – stuff. But looked at through David’s lens this stuff is seen in all its glory; never has a pepper looked so brilliantly, crunchily, juicily red, or a rubber glove so squeakily, summery yellow. This is a man who clearly delights in design – if I was a banana, I’d want David to take my picture.

  3. List

    I’m not sure how well Only Fools And Horses translates as a cultural reference point to our international readers; there’s something quintessentially British about the sitcom featuring a get-rich-quick ducker and diver in his (pre-trendy) Peckham flat. But young London-based photographer Nadia Lee Cohen took Del Boy’s now-iconic home – with its charming hodge-podge of faux sophisticated stylings – and used it as the backdrop for this slightly unsettling shoot. Nadia’s work has a very pronounced slick, shiny and colour-saturated aesthetic that fits this slightly odd narrative perfectly – this mysterious femme fatale seems at one moment confidently at home in Del Boy’s surroundings, at others slightly bewildered. It’s weird, and I love it.

  4. Boy7list

    Shot at his house in Brooklyn, New York, David Armstrong’s series 615 Jefferson Avenue creates an aura of mysticism around the young male models. Some are muscular, some are boyish, but they all seem strangely ethereal. They exist in a world apart from the everyday; free from work, from worries, from the washing-up. Armstrong’s apartment is a wonderland of sorts, filled with masks, gilded mirrors and flower wreaths. His “muse,” Boyd Holbrook, even has pixie pink hair (although I suspect this particular Peter Pan left Neverland quite some time ago). For you, dear reader, we’ve picked a selection of portraits which are free from bed sheet, ruff and top hat.

  5. Main

    Where is the limit of what the camera can capture? Can the paranormal be pictured? So asks Alexander Gehring’s series Messages from the Darkroom, exploring photography’s ability to portray paranormal phenomena.

  6. Main8

    With over 600,000 snap happy visitors a year, you can imagine that Elvis Presley’s infamous Graceland mansion is pretty well documented. But it takes someone truly special to photograph something famous and still make it seem brand new, which is why we’re glad that Hedi Slimane – lover of rock and roll, and young, good-looking, rebellious men – took a trip to Elvis’ Memphis home late last year and brought his camera along.

  7. Main

    Stripped of snow, Ettore Moni’s alpine landscapes are scarred by access roads, crisscrossing electricity wires and ski lift cables. The raw beauty of his scenes is interrupted by ugly concrete buildings, plastic fencing and piles of pipes. If Maria and the von Trapps came skipping over these mountains, the sound of music would hit a rather discordant note.

  8. List

    This time last year Sam Bradley had just moved up to London to concentrate on his fashion photography – which we have to say, he was pretty damn good at. This year he’s still busy working away on fashion editorials, including a lovely shoot for the latest Wonderland, but he’s been getting outside a lot more, shooting mountaineers, skateboarders and racing drivers in a style so crisp you feel almost able to reach out and touch the scenes he’s captured. I’ll admit a certain bias towards photographers working in nature – I go mad for a mountain view – but Sam’s managed to make even tedious, high-budget motorsports look exciting and unusual, for which he deserves an enormous amount of praise.

  9. List

    When Rapha launched their brand ten years ago they did it with an exhibition on cycling history and a book that documented some of the greatest stars and stories of competitive road racing. The book showed candid shots of legendary riders like Fausto Coppi hanging out in his pyjamas and Bernard Hinault in a grump on the train, exposing these famous gents out of the saddle, carrying on like normal human beings. To celbrate their tenth anniversary Rapha have re-printed and re-released the book (no long out of print) upping the print and finish quality in the process. The results, we think you’ll agree, look pretty spectacular!

  10. Main8

    Whether catching a glimpse of a funeral ceremony over a black-clad shoulder or seeing young boys play football in dappled sunlight, Noah Rabinowitz’s beautiful images truly make you feel like you’re observing something intimate, something special.

  11. Pino

    Dino Ignani spent the early 1980s in many a “discoteche o video-bar" capturing the “dark” wave. From hanging out in cafés and bars with artists in Rome, he began to follow these newcomers with big barnets and kohl a-plenty to music events and club nights. He would create an ad-hoc set, and invite everyone there to have their portrait taken. The result is an enormous gallery of 400 images, mostly black and white, wonderfully random and totally intriguing. Who are these people?

  12. List

    For an image maker whose craft relies on capturing light to take all of his photographs by moonlight might seem a little impertinent, but Alejandro Chaskielberg doesn’t seem to care about following any preconceived ideas. The Buenos Aires-born photographer has fully replaced lighting equipment with the natural environment by taking images by the light of the full moon. His technique comes as a breath of fresh air to those familiar with photographic projects which aim to muster sympathy for subjects living in underprivileged areas; this is something else else entirely.

  13. List

    Belgian photographer Wouter Van de Voorde started out as a painter in his homeland before discovering that photography offered him more of the creative freedom and opportunity for introspection than his original medium. Since taking up photography he’s exiled himself to Autralia where he uses his outsider status as a driver for creative expression, exploring the quirks and nuances of Australian culture and landscape in the hope of creating a sense of belonging through his work.