For generations the Day of the Dead has been a unique and sacred festivity for people of Mexican descent on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. El día de los Muertos, an ancient Mexican celebration in which families reconnect with departed ancestors, provides a special opportunity to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of those who have moved ahead into the sacred lands of Mictlan. The realm of the “fleshless” or the dead (Mictlán in Nahuatl, Xibalbá in Maya), according to Ancient Mexican traditions, is conceived to be in a fluid relationship with the world of the “flesh” or the living. “The fleshless ones” are considered to be a living presence in this world while the “living ones” contemplate death as the natural progression of life and renewal. In the United States Mexican communities have turned the Day of the Dead into a public celebration of Mexican/Chicano cultures, a venue to create art reflecting on collective experiences, an opportunity to bring the community together and a way to raise awareness of the issues affecting the lives of people in current times. In that spirit Michigan State University is presenting an exhilarating program of cultural, educational and artistic events centered on the Day of the Dead and the present hardships faced by Latin American immigrants bound for the United States.
The Michigan State University Museum, the Residential College in the Arts and the Humanities, and the Consulate of Mexico in Detroit are hosting a Day of the Dead celebration on November 2 at Michigan State University. The event starts at 6 PM at the RCAH Theater with a performance dance by Professor Estrella Torrez and her Aztec Dance group, a performance by the Poetry Center and a report on the Dream Act by MEXA students. A Day of the Dead procession will follow the performances and lead the participants to the MSU Museum. At the Museum there will be an ofrenda-installation, “Broken Dreams, New Seeds” (by Gabrielle Pescador and Javier Pescador, curated by Juan Alvarez), dedicated to Latin American immigrants. There will also be an art exhibit by California-based Dignidad Rebelde, “In the Spirit of the Living and the Dead” (curated by Dylan Miner) and a creative workshop by RCAH’s resident-artist Guillermo Delgado.
Maria’s Tacos will provide refreshments.
Organized by the Michigan State University Day of the Dead Initiative.
Sponsors: MSU Museum, Residential College in the Arts and the Humanities, Mexican Consulate in Detroit, Department of History, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Chicano Latino Studies, Maria’s Tacos.