The Grotesque Flagellantism, by Gerard Asay
Once in a while we have great submissions and Gerard Asay‘s work came over shortly after I asked for work conencting Religion/Faith with Body/Skin.
About this series “Flagellantism – A grotesque phenomenon in the Philippines”, Gerard Asay wrote:
“Flagellation is the disciplinary or devotional practice of beating with whips. In antiquity and among prehistoric cultures, ceremonial whippings were performed in rites of initiation, purification, and fertility, which often included other forms of physical suffering. In the ancient Mediterranean, Roman heretics were whipped with thongs of oxtail, leather, or parchment strips, some being weighted with lead.
It had its origins in the 13th and 14th centuries. Flagellation was apparently imposed as punishment and as a means of penance for sinners to atone for their sins. In 1349 Pope Clement VI condemned flagellation, as did the Council of Constance in 1414-18.
In the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, rituals revolve around the processions, hymns, distinct gestures, uniforms, and discipline. Flagellants must drop to the ground, no matter how dirty or painful the area may seem. During annual observations of Lent, a number of men and women get crucified in the Barrio of Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga Northern Philippines. Similar crucifixions and other rituals occur in other areas of the country.
The annual celebration of gore and obscurant ritual embellished in blood, crucifixions, and whipping is witnessed by an international media circus and influx of tourist reaching fifty to seventy thousand each year. It is an inescapable grotesque phenomenon in the Philippines in celebration of Christís suffering and detain.”
Even though flagellantism is not aproved by the popes, people keep doing it as a matter of faith, not only in Philippines, but also in Fatima/Portugal, Sevilla/Spain, etc. Catholic church have been always connected with Guilty and (self-)Punishment.
Here you have Gerard Asay’s images of this grotesque tradition:
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