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Common humanity and tradition, Chris Roche

By Matthew Oxley | 1 year ago

Chris Roche divides his time between photography and film-making. Born in Quebec, Canada to Irish parents, he has since lived in Africa and several cities around Europe. He is currently developing his project on 'Devotion', exploring "men and women’s thirst for spiritual fulfillment around the world" and has published two photographic books, ‘The Priests and Pilgrims of Ethiopia' and ‘Banaras, Holy City'. 

'Devotion' is part of the shortlist for the 2017 ZEISS Photography Award.


Text by Chris Roche 

Inspired by the social documentary photography of Salgado and Capa, in 2014 I commenced work on a project exploring different faith traditions around the world - 'Devotion'. 

Drawn to the common humanity rather than the dogma behind such traditions, I felt it a pertinent theme in our increasingly globalised world with its frequent clash of civilisations.

From the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet to the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia; the Sufi shrines of Iran to the burning Ghats of India; the animists in the Peruvian Andes to the zikrs of Chechnya, the project captures both the intimate and epic nature of ancient traditions that are now being lost to the forces of globalisation, mass tourism, political oppression and even global warming. This project hopes to be a testament to the importance of these traditions and celebrate a fundamental aspect of the human condition.


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