West African marabouts are religious leaders and teachers of the Qur'an. They often keep alive syncretic pre-Islamic traditions, making amulets for good luck, presiding at various ceremonies, telling the future, and in some cases actively guiding the lives of followers. Most orders in West Africa emphasize the role of a spiritual guide, marabout or possessing supernatural power, regarded as an Africanization of Islam. Sufism, which focuses on the mystical elements of Islam, has many orders as well as followers in West Africa, and, like other orders, strives to know God through meditation and emotion. Their ceremonies may involve chanting, music, dancing, and meditation.

Niger, Mali, 2003-2011
View the book at a glance. Click on the thumbnails to enlargen them.
The book 'COMPELLING FACES' is a triptych containing the work of three photographers.
Introduction by Johan Swinnen.

Caroline Alida marabout 01Caroline Alida marabout 02Caroline Alida marabout 03

Caroline Alida marabout 04Caroline Alida marabout 05Caroline Alida marabout 06

Caroline Alida marabout 07Caroline Alida marabout 08Caroline Alida marabout 09

Caroline Alida marabout 10Caroline Alida marabout 11Caroline Alida marabout 12

Caroline Alida marabout 13Caroline Alida marabout 14Caroline Alida marabout 15