Shannon Taggart

Shannon Taggart

American photographer
Country: USA

  1. Shannon Taggart: Biography of an Extraordinary Photographer
  2. Early Life and Introduction to Voodoo
  3. Journey into the World of Voodoo
  4. Meeting Mambo Rose Marie Pierre
  5. Controversy and Artistic Freedom
  6. Unveiling the Mysterious World of Voodoo

Shannon Taggart: Biography of an Extraordinary Photographer

Early Life and Introduction to Voodoo

Shannon Taggart was born in 1971 in the United States. Despite being raised in an Irish Catholic household, Taggart developed a deep interest in voodoo, its rituals, and ceremonies. This fascination began when she encountered a medium during her teenage years. The medium, through a voodoo ritual, revealed details about Taggart's deceased grandfather that no outsider could have known. This experience convinced Taggart that voodoo had something worth exploring, despite the societal stigma surrounding it.

Journey into the World of Voodoo

In 2001, while pursuing her career in photography, Taggart took her camera into the world of voodoo for the first time. She captured her first images in Lily Dale, New York, a town known as the "City of Mediums" due to its large voodoo community. It was through these photographs, dedicated to voodoo rituals, ceremonies, and practitioners, that Taggart gained recognition as a unique and talented photographer. Today, she is the sole known professional in this field.

Meeting Mambo Rose Marie Pierre

In 2005, after relocating to New York City, Taggart crossed paths with Rose Marie Pierre, a mambo and the guardian of a voodoo temple located in the basement of a small shop in the Flatbush neighborhood. It was in this voodoo temple that Taggart captured numerous striking and thought-provoking photographs, revealing the mysteries of voodoo rituals. She also managed to document some sessions and ceremonies. Perhaps it was the black and white nature of her photographs that captured widespread attention, or maybe it was Taggart's deep respect and belief in the power of the spiritual forces that mediums connect with.

Controversy and Artistic Freedom

Taggart's photographs depict enigmatic scenes of trance, wild singing, and dancing that may seem unsettling to the civilized eye. Mambo Rose Marie herself often expresses surprise and even shock when seeing herself in a trance state in the photographs. Regarding the controversial animal sacrifices associated with voodoo, Taggart argues that the animals are slaughtered humanely and promptly consumed as food. She even references Haiti, where the scarcity of refrigeration makes it difficult to store meat and justifies the necessity of sacrifice. However, despite any logical arguments, Taggart undoubtedly faces opposition from critics.

Unveiling the Mysterious World of Voodoo

Above all, Shannon Taggart's work does not seek to justify or encourage the worship of voodoo. Instead, her photographs are a form of art that represents freedom. Taggart's photography brings to light the secretive world of voodoo rituals and ancient customs. In late 2012, she, along with Mambo Rose Marie Pierre and several other voodoo practitioners from Brooklyn, traveled to Haiti for a two-day initiation ceremony. The journey further solidified Taggart's commitment to capturing the essence of voodoo through her lens.