Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mexicali - Day of the Dead Art Show

Here on the border fence between Calexico and Mexicali, cities that emerge on both sides of the US-Mexican Border, paintings were on display for the Day of the Dead Celebration Nov. 1 and 2, 2007.

Day of the Dead images usually consist of a skull or skeleton dressed as living beings, acting out various real life activities. Some of the more common images depicted are: Catrina, Mariachis, the Reaper, the revolutionary/outlaw Pancho Villa, and Jesus. Here in Mexicali, virtually all the paintings made depicted border stories. Death and rebirth, what the border gives us (them).

Border Fence - Mexicali Side

A view of the border fence and the line of cars awaiting passage into the United States.

The Graffiti scrolled on the cement separator says, "Preso a Oaxaca, Libertad" --> "Liberty for the imprisoned of Oaxaca".

Poem written for the Living Dead

This poem is hung just across from the photo of the Border Fence.

Poem of Living Dead

For the
living Dead
For the dead
that have not
gone; and for the
living that continue
living dead
to those who
entrust their
Death to Life
and for those who
die living

Para los
Muertos vivos
Para los muertos
que no se han
ido; y para los
vivos que siguen
a los que en-
comiendan su
Muerte a la vida
y para los que
mueren Viviente
La Vida

ICON - American Woman

A symbol that contributes to the Colonialization of the soul.

Border-Crosser atop fence

The Thinker

This skeleton is a Day of the Dead version of Auguste Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker", made sometime around the turn of the last century.

According to wikipedia: Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. (In the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue sits atop the gates, pondering the hellish fate of those beneath him.)

The Skeleton Thinker is indeed facing the gates of Hell -- these unbelievable bars, police forces of all sorts, the deaths occurring daily, the dehumanization meted out -- the locals' response is, "we're used to it." Off to live within the Beast -- the Hell with repression, alienation, and hunger -- money can indeed be a buffer.

Liberty Enlightening the World

The Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States by France in 1886. It stands at Liberty Island in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans.

Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States and, more generally, represents liberty and escape from oppression.

Spirit of the Wall Climbers

Photo 1.

Spirit of the Wall Climbers

Photo 2.

Dismal Silence (poem by Olga Dinora)

Take note! YOU ARE DEAD

Christ is here - with all Border-Crossers

Catrina - Lady of Death

The word "catrina" is the feminine form of the word "catrĂ­n", which means "dandy". The figure is intended to show that the rich and fashionable, despite their pretensions to importance, are just as susceptible to death as anyone else.

Partially draped by the US-american flag. Yes, we are indeed all equal.

The Dead Assist the Living

Thousands of Dead Souls assist border-crossers climb the fence, and move from Mexico to US-america, their spirit moves away from Mexico.


Reference to the women of Juarez, where killers prey on the young female workers at the maquiladoras (border factories run by international corporations). In Juarez, Mexico, it is reported that more than 400 women have been murdered over the last 14 years and over 1,000 women have been reported disappeared.

Returning Home after dieing in the Calexico desert

Anonymous Dead in Mexicali Park

Monday, June 16, 2003

Imagine 4,000 People


Sunday, June 15, 2003

Cemetery - Holtville, CA

November 10, 2007, the number of graves had reached some 500.

The graveyard has been in existence since 1994. Another border-crosser cemetery is located in nearby El Centro. The graves are marked "John Doe", "Jane Doe" along with date of death - they are old people, young people, children.

This photo includes the frame-work used to create grave-sites.

Many activists went to visit the site. Led by Enrique Morones, a member of "Border Angels", a group that has been placing water in strategic places along the border to save lives for the last twenty years, stated during the ceremony, "These people here, they are the people that are not responsible for any of the problems facing us today -- they are the true people, real people, the salt of the earth."

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Holtville Cemetery - Honoring the Dead

At the edge of the graveyard, one can see the space made available for new-comers.

Here I am seized by a frantic urge to decorate the 500+ grave sites with flowers and crosses

Prayer for Immigrants and Refugees
All Come Bearing Gifts