I went to Ethiopia to photograph the amazing history of religious culture in Africa: ancient manuscripts.
Apart from being a living culture, some of the religious relics used in Ethiopia today are almost as ancient as the religion itself. The remote churches and monasteries of Lake Tana, for example, hold precious, colorful books and murals that tell stories of Jesus and the saints and even of monsters converting to Christianity after repenting their terrible deeds.
This remote region in Ethiopia is not yet overrun by coach parties so the monks who keep these treasures alive are happy and proud to open the sacred books to the few visitors. Photographing the icons of this ancient Christianity soon has you lost in the past.
I wanted to photograph the book in such a way that you could almost smell how old it was. I moved in as close as I could, using a wide-angle lens, showing the structure of the paper and how fragile it really is.
Mind you, unlike the medieval manuscripts of Europe that are locked away in museums under dim lighting and high security, these books are used every day. That is why I thought it essential to include the monk, the literal keeper of the faith, in the photo as well.
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