All over the world, in every society, there are objects that have special power over people. People climb mountains or make pilgrimages just to see or touch them. They prostrate themselves or engage in rituals in their presence, caress them in the hopes of absorbing some of their magic, they enshrine them in temples or pass them on to descendants; wear them or store them in treasure houses or sometimes burn them. An individual object might hold power over only one group or even just one person, but the phenomenon of "power objects" is universal.
The central idea behind the new motion picture "MANA-beyond belief"
is that the way people behave in the presence of these power objects reveals
a process of the human mind which is fundamental and universal: belief.
By revealing the myriad activities and behaviors that take place around
power objects — things that are precious because people believe
they are — this new film presents an interesting way of looking
at what is happening all around us, all the time. Belief is not just religion;
it drives the stock market, it determines how we deal with history and
our personal memories, it underlies racism and war.
Bringing together diverse cultures, characters, visual styles, music and
fascinating objects, MANA
attempts to identify the essential, invisible element underlying them
FeatureMANA - Beyond BeliefA new movie explores worldwide belief in “power objects”View Images
MANA - Beyond Belief
A new movie explores worldwide belief in “power objects”View Images
MANA - Beyond Belief
A new movie explores worldwide belief in “power objects”
CHINESE FUNERAL FIRE<BR>Traditional Chinese communities in Malaysia believe that the dead need material goods as much as the living, and stage ceremonies to send them houses, money, home entertainment equipment and chauffer-driven cars - made of paper. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
COMPUTER BLESSING <BR>To protect against "crashes", computer viruses and other potential problems, Hindu families in India call upon the god Ganesha to bless new high tech gear. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
ELVIS IMPERSONATOR, FLAG CAPE <BR>At a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, thousands of impersonators converged on Memphis, Tennessee, to pay homage to their spiritual ancestor. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
GOLDEN BOULDER FROM BELOW <BR>At the peak of Mount Kyaikhtyo in Eastern Burma (Myanmar) a precariously-balanced golden boulder draws worshippers to witness the alignment of the full moon. Atop the boulder is a pagoda inside which is a single hair from the head of the Buddha, thought to keep the boulder from falling over the cliff below. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
GOLDEN BOULDER, PRAYING <BR>A worshipper kisses the golden boulder at the peak of Mount Kyaikhtyo in Eastern Burma (Myanmar). © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
LOWRIDER CAR JUMPS <BR>In Hispanic communities in the Southwestern USA, old cars are turned into ?lowriders? ? vehicles with the ability to leap up or scrape along only a few millimeters above the pavement ? because their owners believe the cars bring them recognition, identity and power. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
NAVAJO HOGAN <BR>A Navajo medicine man enters his hogan, a special building in which it is possible to communicate with the gods. Inside, ceremonies are performed to encourage healing, foretell future events, and detect potential enemies. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
VOODOO TRANCE SPINNER <BR>In Ouidah, Benin, voodoo believers assert that touching the spinning cloth cape of a revenant ancestor spirit during and e’gun-gun ceremony can cause death. © Peter Friedman and © Roger Manley
Trending this Week
Wear Good Shoes: Inspiring Advice from Magnum Photographers
Download this free 60-page PDF from Magnum Photos—filled with excellent tips, advice and words of wisdom from the photographers at Magnum, as well as many of their iconic images. A great resource for anyone who wants to make better pictures.
Announcing the Winners & Finalists—LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017!
Portraits are unique in their power to captivate our gaze and show us something new and unexpected about each other and the world we live in—discover the 44 international photographers who were selected for this year’s award, an inspiring showcase...
Even 50 years later, her face and silhouette remain ubiquitous, while her meteoric rise and fall continue to embody the allure (and dangers) of the Hollywood Dream.
Natural Red Hair
A young photographer from the Netherlands, Hanne Van Der Woude, combines her love of verdant Dutch landscapes with an almost obsessive fascination with natural red hair. The photos vibrate with hyper-real intensity.
Days of Night/Nights of Day
Daily life, work and play, in the northernmost city in the world, Norilsk, Russia (also the 7th most polluted city in the world) — a fascinating, detailed photo report with 45 exquisite images.
Ukraine: The Silent War
Although the historic events at Euromaidan have long since passed, conflict rages on in Ukraine—according to the photographer, “the story of this absurd war has yet to be told.”