Ofrenda en altar de difuntos en Karayantayoq

"Todos Santos - Feast of the Souls" Project

In 2010 Metamorfosis Documentation Project embarked on the Todos Santos / Day of the Dead Project, to explore rituals that celebrate the relation between the living and the dead. This Project consisted of three individual Day of the Dead Projects in three distinct traditional communities in Mexico and Bolivia.

The cult of the dead is celebrated throughout Latin America in indigenous and mestizo communities. Known as Día de Muertos or Todos Santos, these celebrations have roots in the cult of the dead of prehispanic indigenous cultures and in pagan and Catholic rituals. Each ethnicity, region and country has different ways of honoring their dead, all based on the same sense of responsibility and reciprocity to the ancestors.

We have, through our Projects documenting these traditions, portrayed how the different rituals and beliefs about the proper way to honor the dead, the preparations for the celebrations, the altars, and the communion with the dead strengthen family and community ties, bringing about a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

In 2010 and 2011, we began the first individual Project of the series in our Todos Santos / Day of the Dead Project. In collaboration with the Unay Pallay Weavers Cooperative and the communities of Candelaria and Karayantayoq, we documented the celebration of Todos Santos in Candelaria, in the southern Andes of Bolivia. Todos Santos is the Yampara culture’s version of Day of the Dead.

This phase of the Project culminated with the production of our documentary, “TODOS SANTOS / Feast of the Souls”.

In July of 2012 we returned to Candelaria, and in a collaborative project with the community, we established a permanent Todos Santos Exhibit in the Unay Pallay Weavers Cooperative’s Community Museum. We also gifted the Museum with rights to reproduce and sell the documentary, with the all proceeds from sales designated to benefit the Museum. We presented the world premiere of the documentary in the community’s Event Hall; and by popular request, had a repeat screening immediately following the premiere.