Sunday, October 30, 2016

Facing Their Fears

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the students learned about boggarts, magical creatures that take on the form of whatever their targets fear the most:

While this could have been an absolutely terrifying lesson, as each student is asked to step up and face the boggart, the students spent much of the time laughing. During the lesson, Professor Lupin taught them a charm that would take away the power of the boggart (or rather, take away the power the boggart had over them), by forcing it to take on a ridiculous form (whatever the spellcaster imagines).

There may be something cathartic about facing one's fears, perhaps by taking a good long look at it and realizing it is actually ridiculous. That may have been the motivation for photographer Joshua Hoffine, who photographs reenactments of his children's nightmares:
Hoffine, based in Kansas City, Mo., and a self-proclaimed “Horror Photographer,” is interested in the psychology of fear. In his project “After Dark, My Sweet,” Hoffine’s surreal and staged images render these fears visible with the “visual grammar of a child.” Through elaborate sets, costumes, makeup and fog machines, Hoffine’s children act out these terrifying scenes in front of his camera.
It's easy to let things spiral out of control in one's mind, but talking to others about it helps keep you grounded; others may be better at seeing when something is irrational. In setting up and taking the pictures, Hoffine is able to talk to his children about their nightmares, which may help take some of the power away.

And the pictures, which will be featured in a forthcoming book, Horror Photography, are absolutely gorgeous, if not a bit disturbing:

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