This is an extended edit of a spooky, conceptual series that explores an ancient Italian book of magic. The original project was named a finalist in the LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards 2015. Discover more inspiring work from all of the winners and finalists.
Il Libro del Comando (The Book of Command) was a book of magic used to summon good and evil spirits. In the Langhe area in northern Italy it was said to have been written by the Devil himself.
The “Masche,” are a sort of mix between witches and spirits of the woods. They used the book to get revenge on humans who disturbed nature. They could turn into animals and plants, playing evil tricks on people. That’s why many of them were haunted and burn alive.
Now the Masche are celebrated as a folkloric tradition, a throwback to the past. But there are still people who believe them to be real and to have true powers. The Book, then, continues to hold relevance today.
According to legend, The Book was not only full of words, but it also included drawings of pentacles and arcane symbols. What if it also featured some photographs?
— Francesco Amorosino