Dia de Los Muertos just passed about 40 hours ago. It’s a holiday and tradition celebrated throughout Mexico and many other Latin American countries where people can celebrate their loved ones through the making of creative and colorful altars. In the U.S., festivals and art pieces in response to el Dia de Los Muertos have been arranged and displayed.
With the rise of digital art, the rise of digital altars have also sprung. Most of these digital altars are in honor of legends or icons that have impacted the Latina/o community. One of the most popular artists that has impacted my childhood as well as many other young Latina women born in the 90’s is none other than Selena. With her unique style and music that resonated with the experiences of growing up, Selena still remains as a popular icon even 20 years after her death. Besides digital altars (like the one shown below), many fans also build physical altars for their beloved singer.
Dia de Los Muertos has also given individuals the opportunity to address issues of social justice. The Mission in San Francisco had their Dia de Los Muertos festivities and people gathered for a candle lit parade to commemorate those that had passed away at the hands of police brutality. Alex Nieto, a young man shot by a police officer in the neighborhood of Bernal Heights, was remembered with customized altars and a display of photos. Friends and family gathered to remember the “funnny parts” of those that had passed away.
Many people celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in different ways. I wish I had the opportunity to be creative and participate in more festivities and honor my own ancestors and loved ones in a better way as well as acknowledge issues pertaining to my communities and motherlands. I’ll just have to wait and see what other amazing festivities and art demonstrations come about for next year’s celebration.