Koteka Impressions



After seeing some traditional kotekas – personal and elaborately decorated penis sheaths that serve as a symbol of virility, practiced in Melanesia, South America and Africa – Finnish-born Kenneth Bamberg (b. 1981) pondered what his own design might look like if he were to make one. So he did.

Amused by the prospect of what forms the koteka might take if used in Western society, he invited a wide range of locals from his hometown, Aaland, to join him in creating their own unique penis sheaths. His series Koteka Impressions is the amalgamation of these sheaths: a photographic journal portraying the men modelling their individual creations in nature. With a certain level of jest, Bamberg photographs his subjects full-length, wild and nude in the Finnish landscape, carefully lighting them with a precision that distinguishes the men from their moonlit surroundings and elevates them to a satiric level of power and dominance.