Heike Behrend
26 November 2015


Screening and talk as part of the exhibition "I See, So I See So. Messages from Harry Smith"

Against the backdrop of a global "renaissance of religiosity", an organization of laypeople from the Catholic Church in Uganda’s Western region began organizing "crusades" in the 1990s. In spectacular publically staged events Catholics, using the help of the Holy Spirit, accused especially elderly women and men of being witches and cannibals. In the face of violence they were then forced to confess their (supposed) deeds and subsequently be purified through exorcism. From 1998 to 2005 Heike Behrend studied the ethnography of the Catholic Church in Western Uganda. In 2002 she was joined by the photographer and video artist Armin Linke who filmed a "crusade". The media-conscious Catholics staged a domesticated version of a witch hunt geared for a Western audience, thus supplying an example of a "shared ethnography".

Heike Behrend is anthropologist and professor emeritus for anthropology at the Department for African Studies at University of Cologne. She lives in Berlin.


Heike Behrend & Armin Linke: Satan Crucified, 2011
Courtesy by Heike Behrend and Armin Linke