Surrounded by dry scrubland and a mountainous backdrop, a bear rears up on its hind legs, menacingly flashing its teeth. The image, part of French photographer Charles Fréger’s Wilder Mann series, serenely balances the creature’s sable-black fur against the chalky blue of the distant peaks but there’s something odd about the picture, especially the bear’s proud gait and disjointed fur. It’s only with closer inspection that the blacked-up face of its human wearer becomes apparent.
For this feature for Wrap magazine, I spoke to Charles Fréger about some of the ancient costume traditions alive and kicking across Europe, as well as chatting to Zim&Zou, Damien Poulain, and Ben Newman about their contemporary equivalents.
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