It’s been a busy few weeks with the American Religious Sounds Project!
Last weekend, I attended a cultural festival at the St. Stevan of Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church, one of several Orthodox churches in Columbus. I first visited the church several months ago for a Lenten fish fry, and have gone back numerous times since then to get to know the congregation. Almost everyone I met recommended I attend the annual Serbian Festival at the end of July, which is a large fundraiser and a cultural outreach effort to the greater Columbus area. Between delicious cuisine, Kolo dancing, and a Lira orchestra, it did not disappoint!
Earlier in July, after a spate of fatal shootings made national news, a Black Lives Matter protest took place in Columbus (as well as other cities nationwide). I went to photograph with my friend Hannah, who wore her hijab. Other protesters admired her for attending as a black Muslim woman – a “triple minority,” as one person said.
Several Hebrew Israelite groups also attended the protest –
Lastly, I began wrapping up a project I’ve been working on about Asatru mead-brewers. Mark, Kevin, and I brewed a batch of mead last October, and this past month, it was finally ready to bottle. Mentioned often in the lore that Asatru draws upon, mead, which is made from fermented honey, is a sacred drink in this faith community. Perhaps just as sacred, I’ve learned, is the brewing process itself, which brings practitioners together and allows them to connect to ancient traditions.
Thanks for looking!