Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Holy Week (Spain)

Photograph © Leslie Mazoch/Chico Sanchez-All Rights Reserved

Here's a Soundslides feature produced by Leslie Mazoch and Chico Sanchez on the Holy Week in Cadiz, Andalucia in Spain.

First, a brief intro on the photographers: Leslie Mazoch began her career as a photojournalist at the Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked in Venezuela photographing for the Associated Press. In 2007 she joined an editing team that oversees AP's Latin America and Caribbean report from Mexico City.

Chico Sanchez is a freelance photographer based in Mexico City since 2007. For the last six years, he lived in Venezuela collaborating with Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, Agencia EFE, and others.

Throughout seven days, Andalucia celebrates Semana Santa, a tradition which joins the devout and the curious in street processions and parades. The organization behind the parades rests with the religious fraternities and brotherhoods, which have the responsibility of maintaining the statues as well as co-ordinating the penitents and musicians.

The "costaleros" carry the weight of the floats and their sculptured representations of biblical scenes. The floats are followed by "nazarenos" dressed in tunics, hoods and masks, and women dressed in traditional costumes.

The high point of each procession is when the float exits and enters the respective church. The best floats date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and are carefully preserved.