Martushka Fromeast Martushka Fromeast

Marta Kotlarska Is currently based in London, Uk and Warsaw, Poland. She has graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, as well as from the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, UK. Having worked for several years as a photojournalist, Marta has covered stories of national identity and economic changes in Poland, Ukraine, Russia and the Turkish part of Kurdistan. In 2004 she co-founded the Click Academy, an art group that uses pinhole photography as a means of social change. Since 2005 she has been working with Romani people in Eastern Europe, visiting and documenting their settlements as well as running community project, Romani Click, which is a voice in a discourse on an approach to education of Roma and was exhibited internationally in Austrian Parliament in Vienna and in 2nd Roma Pavilion in Venice International Arts Biennale. She works using Canon 5d Mark II with Canon L lenses as well as all set of other cameras.
http://Www.ClickAcademy.co.uk martakotlarska.blogspot.co.uk / | Www.ClickAcademy.co.uk /

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I Am Not Scared of Night
Nepal
By Martushka Fromeast
14 May 2014

Shyabrubesi is a small village situated in the Nepali Himalaya, only 13 km away from the Chinese border. The village is the starting point for the popular Langtang trek. During high season, hundreds of tourists from all over the world pass through the village. However, the village’s shamanistic heritage is a well kept secret. Rituals mostly take place at nights and in private spaces. Shamans perform special healing procedures known as pujas, to keep bad spirits away. During the Janai Purnima holiday, about 1000 local villagers and shamans go for a traditional pilgrimage. In these local communities, shamans are respected leaders.

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Shyabrubesi 12
By Martushka Fromeast
17 Aug 2013

Shamans’ rituals in Sybarubesi are performed at night. Local people believe that shamans gained their power after sunrise. Locals follow Tibetan Buddhism but also worship nature (Bone Religion). Bompos or Jhankris (shamans) perform special healing procedures, also called pujas, to keep bad spirits away. In opposition, Lamas perform rituals to help members of a community pass traditional rites of passage. They are usually called when a baby is born or when someone died.

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Shyabrubesi 4
By Martushka Fromeast
15 Sep 2013

Risowangdi has three sons to whom he teaches shamanism.

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Shyabrubesi 6
By Martushka Fromeast
07 Sep 2013

Shaman Risowangdi beats a sick man with fire. Just before that, he had also beaten the man with branches of holy bush dipped in boiling wanter. The shaman filled the water with mantra (a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer) that are supposed to help get rid of the illness. Local people from Shyabrubesi still go to shaman to get help. Shamans make their own traditional Ayervedic drugs (a type of alternative medicine that originated in India) to treat diseases and perform exorcisms to help the soul.

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Shyabrubesi 9
By Martushka Fromeast
21 Aug 2013

Risowangdi fights with something only he sees. He puts rice onto a drum and blows it away, then starts to cry and talk, using English, Hindu and Tamang words. He was asked by one of the attendant of the annual pilgrimage during Janai Purima holiday to pray for the well being of one of the adults. Risowangdi is one of the shamans of Shybarubesi. He belongs to a tribe of Tibetan origin called Tamangs. The name Tamang has two meanings: ‘TA’-horse and ‘MANG’ –warriors/combatants. Tamangs used to be horse-riding warriors and came to Nepal from northern Tibet. Risowangdi was trained to become a shaman by his older brother. He has been practicing as a Bompo (shaman) for the last 13 years. Before becoming a shaman he served in the army. Risowangdi's father was also a Bompo, but he divorced Risowangdi's mother for another woman. Risowangdi married for love at the age of 17 and is a very proud father of three sons.

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Shyabrubesi 7
By Martushka Fromeast
21 Aug 2013

According to local beliefs, Langtang is a "hidden valley", where Guru Rinpoche used to meditate. He is considered to be the ‘first shaman’.

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Shyabrubesi 10
By Martushka Fromeast
20 Aug 2013

Shamans go to villages situated higher in the mountains on both sides of the border with Nepal and China (Tibet) . Power (called sakhti in Nepali) is the source of a shaman’s fame.

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Shyabrubesi 3
By Martushka Fromeast
16 Sep 2013

Shaman Risowangdi during a pudja ceremony on an 84 years-old woman who, according to him, lost her heart. The shaman stayed at her house all night and sacrificed a chicken and was finally able to catch the evil spirit.

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Shyabrubesi 1
By Martushka Fromeast
13 Oct 2013

Policemen in Shyabrubesi killed the mouflon to celebrate Dashain, the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar. The men cut its head with an axe. After that, they dragged its body around a table three times where five beautifully decorated guns were placed. Sacrificing animals is popular among local people. Most shamans sacrifice chickens but some of them are against animal sacrifices.

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Shyabrubesi 8
By Martushka Fromeast
21 Aug 2013

A young shaman is washing his face with holy water in Langshica kharka. Shaman Risowangdi, who is more powerful than him, sent him a mantra that made his nose bleed.

7 shamans from 3 different casts were doing the annual pilgrimage together. They were followed by the local residents who were singing, dancing and drinking. The shamans were competing to prove their power. However, shamans belonging to different casts cannot run ceremonies, dance nor pray together. Their mantras do not go together. Mantras are a source of Shakti (power).

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Shyabrubesi 5
By Martushka Fromeast
08 Sep 2013

Shaman Risowangdi pierces his cheeks with a needle to prove his powers. “Do you believe me now? I can lick red hot iron, I can change a piece of wood into cobra”, he claims. He also says that sometimes, during trance, spirits enter his body.

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Shyabrubesi 11
By Martushka Fromeast
20 Aug 2013

Drinking alcohol is an important part of all rituals, which act as social events during which men and women meet. Drinking is also important during the annual pilgrimage during Janai Purima holiday. It is used as an offering to the Gods.

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Shyabrubesi 2
By Martushka Fromeast
08 Oct 2013

It is very important to get rid of bad spirits. Their symbols are burned outside the village each time a pudja is performed in someone’s house. Each pudja starts with preparing Tormas (figures made of dough) and Tsompa (barley flour balls), symbolizing gods and devils.

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Morrocco on two wheels (2 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
23 Feb 2013

A quick break for a keesan of tea. Bikes lined along the kerb.

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Morrocco on two wheels (4 of 25)
Marrakech, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
21 Feb 2013

Little Amsterdam. There are lots of traditional dutchies on the streets of Moroccan towns and cities.

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Morrocco on two wheels (6 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

In Morocco everybody cycles: men and women, young and old.

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Morrocco on two wheels (8 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

Red fezzes, scarves, veils and bare heads, long djellabas and jeans, hoodies and tailored shirts, leather slippers and trainers, donkeys and bikes – they all meet at the market.

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Morrocco on two wheels (9 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
28 Feb 2013

Markets are filled with smells of steaming mint tea, the spices, freshly baked pastries, meat from butcher shops, rotting vegetables.

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Morrocco on two wheels (14 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

Cycling bridges generations of women. How do you bicycle in a long djellaba?

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Morrocco on two wheels (15 of 25)
Taroudant, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

Will they carry shopping home in the qobs of their djellabas or will they use the back rack of the bike?

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Morrocco on two wheels (16 of 25)
Taroudant, Morrocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

Bikes (and people) have a meeting place in a city square. What are they waiting for?

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Morrocco on two wheels (17 of 25)
Essaouira, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
02 Mar 2013

Cycling can be the best and fastest means of transport, both in the countryside and in the city.

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Morrocco on two wheels (19 of 25)
Essaouira, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
02 Mar 2013

It used to be donkeys laden with boxes and baskets of merchandise.

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Morrocco on two wheels (21 of 25)
Igli Sidi Hamed, Morrocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

Two frail Davids versus a huge Goliath. You can cram a lot on a bike too.

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Morrocco on two wheels (22 of 25)
Taroudant, Morrocco
By Martushka Fromeast
27 Feb 2013

What do you do when you run out of eggs while cooking a traditional Kefta Mkaouara? Well, you grab your own egg carton, hop on a faithful bike and go stock up, of course.

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Morrocco on two wheels (23 of 25)
Essaouira, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
02 Mar 2013

A car, a motorbike, a bicycle? Bikes are increasingly popular amongst young Moroccans.

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Morrocco on two wheels (24 of 25)
Marrakesh, Morocco
By Martushka Fromeast
07 Mar 2013

Marrocco on the two wheels. This tousled, exotic world is often like a surreal dream.