Dias de los Muertos by Rene Wong

Monday, November 1, 2010 8:10 PM

Dias de los Muertos

Dias de los Muertos
Using the popular Mexican holiday as a familiar point of reference, the poster references the Days of the Dead that Mexico has endured since President Calderon declared his War on Drugs. Unfortunately, drug-related deaths and violence are not unique to just Ciudad Juarez, but a national pandemic that has Mexico in the midst of a civil war. The figure shown is a conservative one by some reports. Some sources quote the figure closer to 23,000. Nevertheless, it is a sobering and despicable statistic representing the senseless murders that are happening just south of our border.

A Day of the Dead Commentary:

Nov 2, Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead. Mexican culture has embraced death as part of life, the cycle of life. They deal death with humor through calaveritas, celebrations food and even music. Death is the beginning of a new journey. ...People remember and honor the lives of their dead. People attend the cemeteries, clean the tombs, decorate with flowers, gifts, photos, food and drinks.

Our poster of the week is "Dias de los Muertos" by Rene Wong. This poster is a commentary and satire on this celebration and the situation of violence in Cd. Juarez and the rest of Mexico. The number in this poster refers to the number of dead from 2006 to the time when the designer created the poster around April of 2010. Sadly to say, this number is so much higher today.

I think we all need to make a pause and think about all the people who have died during the drug war. Think about all the deaths due to senseless acts of violence. I also think about the deaths to come. Many of us will be at the cemetery remembering our dead. I think this year will be different though. I think the cemeteries will be fuller and instead of celebrations, there will be mourning, sadness and tears.

As I was speaking with an older Mexican woman in Cd. Juarez over the weekend, she said that she wonders who is better off. She wondered if the dead, the ones who have now started that new journey, she wondered if they were better off than the people who are alive in Cd. Juarez... living with fear. She asked, "is it better to be gone than to be living in this uncertainty?" I said to her that I didn't know the response and she just nodded her head.

Take a moment and think about this situation... think of all the dead. Think about our role in the problem and what we can do to help.

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