Offering to Yemaya

2013, 6 min, color, sound

A collaboration between Gorewitz and poet Rachel Hadas, Offering to Yemaya is a healing ritual invoking a West African ocean goddess, performed by Hadas after her recovery from an unnamed serious illness. Hadas recites poetry as she wades into the water, holding a striking white gown around her thighs, and offers flowers, salt, and other objects to the water. Her image is digitally altered by Gorewitz, who superimposes this meditative, melodic performance with images of her face, her body, the flowers, or layers of highly saturated color as the image shifts and vibrates. Filmed and performed in Jacob Riis Park in Queens, NY, Offering to Yemaya is a gesture of intimacy, friendship, and faith, at once exposing vulnerability and asserting agency over oneself, one's surroundings, and one's destiny.

Offering to Yemaya by Rachel Hadas. Music: "Calling to the Water Goddess" by Hu Vibrational from Boonghee Music 1 - EP. Video: Shalom Gorewitz. Shot on location at: Jacob Riis Park, Queens, NY.