Several years ago I had the amazing opportunity to reportage “Semana Santa”, or Holy Week, in Seville, Spain. Holy week is the last few days of Lent leading up to Easter, a very important time in the Catholic faith. In Seville it is a major event. Starting on Holy Thursday and going up until Easter Sunday, groups of religious men known as ‘the brotherhood’ don hooded gowns and carry life-sized statues of Jesus and Mary to the main Cathedral of Seville, one of the largest gothic Cathedrals in the world.If you notice in this drawing, the men are barefooted. Up until the 1960s, when it was outlawed, self-flagellation was sometimes part of the procession. As you may imagine, it is very intense. The mood in the streets is solemn, and when the procession is over, the smell of incense hangs in the air for days and slippery wax from the thousands of candles is all over the pavement. Wow. It really is quite something.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the hooded costume of the Holy Brotherhood is very similar to the ones worn by the Ku Klux Klan. I was really taken aback by that. The organization is not related to the infamous Klan, but they do have their own turbulent and very political history. If you are interested to read a bit more about them, click HERE.
My book, September 11 2001: Words and Pictures, is available now. Please visit sept11wordsandpictures.com to order. Thank you.