dia de muertos … life after death

/ Vincent Isoré

This project was realized in october 2016, at the cementery of Tepepan, a typical village in the southern suburbs of Mexico City. The images transport us to the graveyard to meet all night long the spirits of the deads, surrounded by their relatives, while celebrating this famous Mexican tradition : The Day of the Dead.

This night, the cementery is far from being sad or lugubrious. On the contrary, the candle lights and the color of  « Cempasuchil » flowers give life to the place and produce a peaceful feeling.

For every Mexican, stading awake all night long next to a grave, represents a moment of complicity and sharing with their ancestors. People take care of the tombs, bring food, sing or talk with a disappeared grandfather while drinking his favorite tequila. As walking throughout the cementery, you can unespectedly see families living moments of intimacy with their deads. Later at night, you can feel the influence of the northern neighbour, The United States, when children arrive with Halloween costumes.

The Day of the Dead, is a cultural event mostly related to Mexico, translating its identity. When living this experience, you understand the spiritual part of this country, who gives a special place to the passing moment from life to death. In a larger way, it let you understand the particular perception of « existence » in Latin America. In fact, this night there’s no time for sadness and we don’t find the nostalgia that characterizes « All Saints » tradition in the European continent.

Early in the morning, you understand why Mexicans like to say they joke with the death. It’s a way to convince themselves that dying has nothing of frightening, because it’s the only sure thing in life.

french version