What is that strange black box to the right?

05 Mar 2006 | 361 words | europe migration art voyantes religion

… and why does the url of this site begin with www.voyantes.net?

[Answer:] long before i had this blog i started collecting little paper flyers from people calling themselves ‘voyantes’ that where thrown through the letterbox of my apartment in Amsterdam [later i also started to find them on public transport in Paris and Strasbourg]. On these cards individuals, who claim to have special healing powers and the ability to look into the future, offer their services. most of them also claim to be mediums and it is quite common that they claim to have inherited this powers form powerful ancestors. It seems that the people who offer their services on these cards are part of the social fabric of sub-saharan migrant communities in these cities.

I do not know why i got fascinated by these cards and started collecting them. it probably is the mixture of (in my eyes) absurd religious beliefs and the almost taxonometric lists of ailments these people claim to be able to relieve. another aspect is the strange mixture between blunt and poetic language:

Spécialiste du retour rapide et définitif de l’être aimé. Si vous voulez vous faire aimer, ou si votre ami(e) vous a quitté(e) il ou elle va courrir derrière vous comme un chien derrière son maître.

[note: this is the only card among 50 or so that tries to imply gender neutrality. on all the others the lost partner that will be summond back to ‘run behind you like a dog behind his master’ is generally assumed to be female]

When my collection grew to more than 50 cards i decided to make them accessible on-line, by building a little app that enables you to chose three problems you would like to have solved. based on the choice of problems, the app will present you with the card(s) that claim to offer treatment for the chosen combination of problems. At the moment i have 71 cards online. If anyone out there ever comes across one of these these cards i would really appreciate it if you could send me a scan (on a black background) so i can add it to my database…