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Trance Mediums and New MediaSpirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction$
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Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke, and Martin Zillinger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253807

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253807.001.0001

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Absence and the Mediation of the Audiovisual Unconscious

Absence and the Mediation of the Audiovisual Unconscious

(p.77) Absence and the Mediation of the Audiovisual Unconscious
Trance Mediums and New Media

Martin Zillinger

Fordham University Press

Not only in Morocco but also among anthropology students worldwide, the ?amadša- and ‘Isāwa brotherhoods – followers of local Sufi-saints of the 15th and 18th century – are famous for their ecstatic trance-rituals. Mediating divine and demonic powers the adepts increasingly use technical media in order to cooperate across space and time at the turn of the 21st century. Whereas in many readings, in the religious sphere technical media are perceived as becoming part of the transcendental, operating beyond mediation and promising some kind of divine presence, this paper analyzes how ritual efficacy is established by emphasizing the mediation work of a trance ritual and the various media employed. Scrutinizing these media and mediators in detail, the paper argues that media rituals do not aim at any ‘immediate’ experience of transcendent powers, but at the mediation of absence - biographical absence that finds its correspondence in both, ritual dissociation and spatial distance.

Keywords:   Martin Zillinger, Trance, Media, Migration, Ritual, Hamadsha

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