Abstract

“Cemeteries could be regarded as non-social spaces due to a believed negligible amount of daily social activity between the living, the dead and the space. At the same time, the spaces of the dead are regarded as spiritually charged, dangerous and even polluted. My paper suggests that the spaces of the dead, such as the cemeteries of Mexico City, are clear examples of dynamically active memory-making spaces in which the dead are daily revered, socialised and memorialised through a combination of secular and religious contemporary funerary practices, the daily interaction between the living, the dead, the ánima and material culture. The paper analyses the phenomenon, socio-cultural and political conditions of the objectification of the dead in the internal and external spaces of the cemetery. The paper includes the investigation of life histories of its workers, mourners and daily visitors in order to explore why various communities in Mexico City have embraced and revered the materialisation and objectification of the dead such as the following of the Santa Muerte. This paper then digs deeper into the array of meanings interwoven into the fabrics of social life and spiritual stability of the living, in which the widespread embrace of material culture plays a dynamic role in the contemporary social rituals dedicated to the dead in the cemeteries of a megalopolis.” p.107

Reyes-Cortez, M. 2012: Material culture, magic and the Santa Muerte in the cemeteries of a megalopolis. Visible Religions, in Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol.13, No.1, (March, Routledge), pp. 107-131.

The forgotten dead of a Megalopolis

  Friday, 09 September 2011 00:00

The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal 10th International Conference, Sept 2011.

Portraits of Remembrance

  Sunday, 30 September 2007 00:00

Reyes-Cortez on Portraits of Remembrance

“When I die, I want to be buried with her. We met at school when she was 15 years old, 

and I love her now, as much as I did then, when we first met over 50 years ago.” 

The cemeteries of Mexico City

European Social Science History Conference, April 2012.

The forgotten dead of a Megalopolis

  Friday, 09 September 2011 00:00

The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal,
10th International Conference, Sept 2011.

Abstract: ‘My grandmother is not a ‘corpse’: The forgotten dead of a Megalopolis’

Visual research in the cemeteries of Mexico City

  Wednesday, 11 April 2012 00:00
  Events

European Social Science History Conference, April 2012.

Abstract: ‘Visual research in the cemeteries of Mexico City: Photography, a social research method’

Panteón Jardín de México

  Saturday, 01 September 2007 00:00

Panteón Jardín, a modern multi-faith cemetery built in the 1930s and is a prime example of how the social rituals that exist in the spaces of the living are reflected through the spatiality and location of the dead.

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