As a cultural activity, scarification is widely performed across Africa. In essence, it is the practice of incising the skin with a sharp instrument, (such as a knife, glass, stone) in such a way as to control the shape of the scar tissue on various parts of the body.

Scarification is a long and painful process, and a permanent modification of the body, transmitting complex messages about identity and social status.

Benin, 2005
Woman with scarification representing the voodoo python
© Jean Michel Clajot

Jean-Michel Clajot was born in Leuven, Belgium in 1971. A the age of twenty-two he began his professional carrer with his first trip in Somalia. After a stint as photographer for various newspaper, he worked during 10 years for News Press Agencies in Brussels ( Reporters Press Agency ) In 2006, he decided to stop working as News Photographer, and concentrate on Africa. Africa is a passion for himself and think that there is another thing to point out of this great continent that war, Aids, hunger ….

In 2007, he signed with Cosmos Photo Agency in Paris, France for worldwide distribution and Aurora Photos in Portland, USA for North American sales.

For 3 years he had been working on Scarification in Benin.
a book will be published in September.
His next project will be a story concerning the King of Benin.

  Montecarotto @ Museo Mail Art | 4.00pm - 10.00pm
    link > jmclajot.net

© photographers and angeliribelli lab 2008