Sunday, 17 November 2013

Chico Sanchez | Day of the Dead In Oaxaca

Photo © Chico Sanchez-All Rights Reserved
At the beginning of November, Mexican families invite the dead over for dinner. While the Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is close enough to Halloween to be confused with it, and be all about ghouls and goblins, it's not.

It's about honoring the dead, and about blessing of souls. Nowhere is this observance celebrated as it is in Oaxaca, to which locals and tourists flock to participate in its rituals. This observance goes back some 3000 years, way before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the region. It evolved during the years, and its current festival is a mix of pre-Columbian customs and Christian teachings. The Aztecs believed that life and death coexist, and during the Day of the Dead, the dead can visit the living.

Coming Back Home is an audio slideshow produced by Chico Sanchez who's just returned from Oaxaca, photographing the scenes and rituals on its November 1 Day of the Dead. It features narrative, an interview and the music of local bands.

I've featured the work of Chico Sanchez, a freelance photographer based in Mexico City, on a number of occasions. He was born in southern Spain and moved to Latin America in 2001 when he started working with Reuters in Venezuela. He collaborated with the European Press Photoagency, Agencia EFE, and freelanced for various newspapers and magazines. He currently focuses on stock photography, producing audio-slide shows and freelancing.