More details on the Fiesta de las Ñatitas (“Festival of the Little Pug-Nosed Ones”) are available via this 2015 article from The Smithsonian. Interestingly, as with the Mexican Day of the Dead, the Bolivian tradition has been undergoing a revival (and, possibly, some degree of reinvention) since the 1970s.
Eva Aridjis’ 2007 documentary is available for rent or purchase via Vimeo. In more recent years the cult of Santa Muerte has spread beyond Mexico and is now considered one of the fastest-growing new religious movements in the world.
This documentary offers a sense of how and why, after the devastating tsunami of 2011, visiting an old-fashioned phone booth in the yard of landscape gardener Itaru Sasaki has became a ritual of pilgrimage for thousands of bereaved people.
I first came across this memorial during one of my evening walks, shortly after it was first created. I’ve added a few little things – some pine cones, a sketch outline of an open hand with the initials “BLM” – and it’s nice to see how others are augmenting and re-arranging the memorial day-to-day. Here’s … Read moreBlack Lives Matter Community Memorial Altar in Rogers Park, Chicago
A short video memoir by The Atlantic featuring the Northside Skull and Bone Gang, narrated by Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes.
A short video concerning London’s curious Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, a public memorial project initiated by the artist George Frederic Watts. Unveiled in an unfinished state in the year 1900 and still incomplete, the memorial wall features plaques commemorating the deaths of ordinary people who died in attempting to save the lives of others. A … Read moreLondon’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice
Since the year 2000, artists – notably including Temple originator David Best – have created intricate, elaborate and secularly sacred temple art installations as part of the Burning Man festival. Each year’s design is inspired by a different theme, such as the Temple of the Mind (2000), the Temple of Flux (2010) and the massive … Read moreThe Temple: a Sacred Space for Letting Go at Burning Man
I have a soft spot for the tradition of Danse Macabre enactments as part of the Renaissance Faire circuit’s grassroots, DIY amusement park vibe. Rather like the modern, American take on the Day of the Dead, that tradition stretches back to the counterculture of 1970s California. The original “Bones Band” was founded by an artist/musician … Read moreThe Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre
Here’s a report by Freethink on London’s Death Incubator, a thanatopositive project combining psychotherapy, exposure therapy and virtual reality simulation. The point is made that the VR simulation can’t possibly represent an “accurate” afterlife experience; that it is inspired by religious traditions and near-death experiences, serving as part of a program primarily intended to encourage … Read moreThe Death Incubator (London, UK)
In 1985, Italian artist Alberto Burri commenced work on the massive Grande Cretto, a poured concrete sculpture memorializing the central Sicilian mountain town of Gibellina, which had been destroyed by a massive earthquake during the 1960s. The project was finally completed in 2015. The layout of the Grande Cretto mimics (and is built directly over) … Read moreMemorial Land Art: Alberto Burri’s “Grande Cretto”