Exorcism and therapy of fear


Andreas Savva has chosen to deal with one of the strongest motivating forces – for bad or for good – of human life and perhaps the deepest cause for minor or major physic traumas: fear. I often think that the realization of the certainty of death makes man a priori a tragic being. In effect, I was immediately drawn to the topic he has chosen and to the way (to bring back experienced memories) in which he decided to work on it. Andreas told me that, when he was a child and while he was playing with other children his age out in the countryside, a snake suddenly appeared. In panic, his friends turned and ran, but he tripped and fell down, a fall which probably left him unconscious, because, when he came to, he found himself in front of a a woman who was trying to shake him out of the fear he felt using a very well-known ritual, that of “kalai”. I do not know much about it myself, but it is a kind of exorcism of fear by using liquid pewter, which, when put in a bowl of water, it takes different shapes, which are then “read” by the “healer”. According to the testimonies of his friends, however, during the minutes or seconds during which Andreas was laying on the ground, the snake went over his body without hurting him.

Are we dealing here with a collection of memory of an experience of fear or is Andreas Savva’s psychic trauma the consequence of an incident his friends imagined or made up? How much does the experiential memory of the sufferer differ or strange but not incomprehensible games of children’s imagination? Could it be that, after all, we are just what we make ourselves up to be, or do we choose our past? However the thematic core of Andreas Savva’s work is part of a wide field of cultural symbols related to fear experienced in childhood, and religious or folklore exorcism practices. The poetic and expressive way in which he narrated his snake experience to me reminded me of another story I had heard from a Portuguese friend of mine in Paris about the collective exorcism of fear in children in her home country, through a strange ritual dedicated to St. Bartholomew of te Sea (Sao Bartolomeo Do Mar). It is a custom which probably belongs to the folk and less so to the religious tradition and goes back more than three hundred years of collective experience and memory. Once a year, thousands of children are given by their parents to specially trained “plungers” which plunge them three times in the ice cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean to liberate them from their fears, from the spirit of the devil, but also from stammering and from epilepsy. From what I realized, in both occasions, water plays a main symbolic-purifying role; the pewter ritual which we hope Andreas will teach to us on the spot, holds a great part of the calm mysticism of the East, while the Sunday baptism in the ice cold Atlantic waters with approximately thirty thousand children crying in pain is only meaningful if seen as a harsh homeopathy treatment.

Dr Niki Loizidi

(from the catalogue of the exhibition “ Trauma and Therapy Cypriot Antiquity and Contemporary Art”, curated by Dr Niki Loizidi, Paphos Archaeological Museum, Paphos, Cyprus, 2014).

SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , PR000041   CISM   220-901   70-347   CAP   9A0-385   100-105  , 300-206   M70-101   1z0-434  , 000-106   1Z0-061   000-105  , 200-310   70-412   c2010-657   70-532   200-310  , ICGB   2V0-621   200-125  , 350-060   EX200   300-208   640-911   ICGB   640-916   400-051   200-125  , 1Z0-144   200-125  , 350-018  , 70-532  , PMP   1Y0-201   300-206  , CRISC   MB6-703   70-461  , 70-487   101   100-101   CAS-002   JN0-102   2V0-620   101   000-017   CCA-500   9L0-066   000-089  , 352-001   000-089   220-802   1Z0-060   CISM   220-802   000-089   642-999   200-101  , 1Z0-051   CAP   000-106   JN0-360