Stephanie Keith

Vodou Brooklyn: Gede
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Nationality: USA
Biography: Stephanie Keith is a news photographer working primarily for the New York Times, Reuters, and Getty Images.  Her focus in breaking news is on the rise of White Nationalism and Trump-ism. Her focus in editorial feature is Native American... MORE
Public Story
Vodou Brooklyn: Gede
Copyright Stephanie Keith 2023
Date of Work Nov 2014 - Dec 2014
Updated Mar 2017
Topics Ceremony, Documentary, Editorial, Emotion, Faith, Haitian, Immigration, Personal, Photography, photojournalism, Possession, Religion, Spirit, Spirituality, Vodou, Voodoo

In a five-month period, from August 2013 through December 2013, I attended thirteen different Vodou ceremonies with every major “house” of Vodou in Brooklyn, following Vodou religious leaders to private apartments and basements across the borough.

I was initially attracted to Vodou because it seemed so unknowable, so misunderstood. How many times have I heard that Vodou is the Devil’s work? What I found was a large group of people connected through their faith, deriving great strength from Vodou and having a great time doing it. 

The idea is to interact with the Spirits in a direct, personal way and spiritual possession is the key. Vodou is a sustaining dialogue with a complex pantheon of Spirits both Haitian and African. It provides a focal point to reliving and redefining the history of the Haitian people.

Vodou in Brooklyn is a dynamic, expanding religion powered by young Americans

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Vodou Brooklyn: Gede by Stephanie Keith
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