About this project
Fascination, uncertainty, fear… Death stirs emotions, and the International Day of the Dead has been proving it for the past three years. Initially started in 2015 as an exhibition and tour, the International Day of the Dead re-imagines the transformative nature of the skull, beyond the duality of life and death.
It showcases an array of international artists based in Vancouver, Canada, and gives them a unique platform to share their interpretations of death according to their specific cultural backgrounds and artistic styles.
If the International Day of the Dead offers significant perspectives to consider: our link to nature, our heritage, our interconnection; it also proudly examines the roots of its Mexican indigeneity—an ascertainment which, in a Canadian context, truly resonates.
Not only does it boldly celebrate Vancouver's diversity, but it also exemplifies its own colonial past and present. It explores our differences, our similarities, and enables favorable spaces for discussions between settlers, immigrants and indigenous peoples.
It creates an abundance of narratives, giving the project multiple facets to reflect on, from the visceral to the spiritual.
This year marks the third and final occurrence of the exhibition. A new road has come to life—self-evident—an exciting journey back to the roots, to Mexico, to share these one-of-a-kind skulls, along with their personal stories, with the very people who made that project a possibility.
The book is the manifestation of this desire to connect—of this insatiable and unstoppable curiosity which brought more than 30 artists and countless visitors together around a simple element: a skull. It encompasses three years of experiences, three years of stories, educational and historical material, and two languages—English and Spanish. A book which in its attempts to define death, finds itself bursting with life, contemplating the past, but also looking forward—simply, drawing closer Canada and Mexico.
¡Viva la cultura!
Acknowledgements: Reparte AC "Creaciones Bellas", Barbara Chirinos and the Granville Island Cultural Society, Patrick Meyer and the Federation of Canadian Artists, Alec Dawson and the Simon Fraser University (Institute for the Humanities, Faculty of Art and Social Sciences, First Nations Studies), Jon Beasley-Murray and the University of British Columbia (Latin America Studies), Granville Island Business and Community Association, Manuel Acosta and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Javier Barajas and the Consejo Consultivo de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, Consulado General de México en Vancouver, Cabezas de Cera, Insomnia Clown, Jean Macleod (Copy editing), Pablo Pieraccini (Photography), Baco (Graphic design), as well as Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy.
Risks and challenges
This book has been in the back of our minds since the very beginning of the International Day of the Dead and now is the right time!
While still waiting for the 2017 exhibition content (to be completed by the end of July), we've already started the translation process, scheduled our photo sessions, and pre-arranged with our designer and proofreaders a three-week-long production period.
By the end of August, the book will be sent to our printer, giving us plenty of time to ready ourselves for the shipping in November! In any case, we promise to put in every effort to land the book on time, and to keep you in the loop about its development. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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