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Visionary Shamanism: Ritual Healing in Peru

sanpedro curanderismo project...
Visionary Shamanism
by Jason Blaesing, Antoni Ansarov and Oscar Miro-Quesada

Tentatively begun in the Summer of 2005, the "Visionary Shamanism" film project has steadily evolved in scope, depth, and the participation of interested persons and institutions. Currently, the project is documenting the lives of five healers -- women and men -- practicing in the Northern Peruvian curandero tradition. As living heirs to the beauty, power, and wisdom of this work their presence on-screen is a testament to the human story of healing and their animated relationship with the sacred in life and nature.

The full participation of the world's leading scholars of this tradition has further opened a contextual space to situate these stories for the viewer. We have been granted unprecedented access to archives of film and photography dating back to the late 19th century along with massive collections of undisplayed artifacts that depict healing in the pre-Columbian cultures that are the root of modern practice. In the course of gathering material for specific inclusion in the film, we are compiling an archive of the entirety of this additional material -- including the full transcriptions of our interviews -- to make available to scholars and researchers in various formats. Our vision for the final result includes the primary documentary film, along with a secondary film of educational material, a DVD archive of material, and a possible full-color book for publication. This makes our venture unique in its scope of material and a lasting contribution to the sensitive preservation of this tradition.

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