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East and West Portraits of wild men

Photographer Charles Fréger’s work took him on a journey him to 18 European countries, including Switzerland, in search of the mythological wild man. Fréger, born in 1975, is a leading representative of young French photography.

The transformation of human to beast is a central aspect in pagan rituals that celebrate the turn of the seasons, fertility, life and death. Passed down the centuries, some are still alive today in carnival or Advent traditions. The costumes often represent the devil, billy goats, wild boars or the grim reaper and they make use of masks, horns, bells, fur and bones, as well as straw and pine twigs.

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