Iboga's Travel: questions raised by shamanic experience as a project of artistic exploration | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


Iboga's Travel is the title of a global project which was conceived after a Gabonese initiation into ‘Bwiti’. The Bwiti is one of the few secret shamanic practices forced to open itself to the outside world by the disappearance of the Equatorial forest. Its traditions remain alive in Gabon, but it has to adapt to the changes brought by cultural globalization. The Bwiti is a rite in which the sacred and revealing plant called ‘iboga’ plays a central role. It leads to visions supposed to widen the power of consciousness. Iboga's Travel can be analysed both in its political and spiritual dimensions. What questions the current globalization process is the author's very unusual presence in the Bwiti, and also when she obtained access to their traditional knowledge. This globalization has contradictory aspects, since it endangers the forest-based healing and initiation traditions on the one hand, and opens it up to the outside world on the other. This experience turned out to be a lot more than the political act that it was in the beginning. It showed us another way of comprehending our world. Making art about it was the author's own way of documenting this experience.


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