Home Alter: Living Forward

Home Alter: Dedicated to mi abuela Martinez y mi Tio Rubio
Design: LROD + Becky Rubio
Lighting: Meg Fox
Photo: Devin Marie Munoz

What does it mean to remember someone when they have passed on. To hold onto the memories in order to keep them alive means so much to those who celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and invest in a joyous death culture. My home alter has developed from my desire to connect with my loved ones. Home alters are still huge focal points of homes in southern Mexico. These spaces are the heartbeat of the home usually consuming up to half or sometimes a full room. The alters have different components to help the loved ones make their way back to the living on special occasions such as marigolds, fire, food, and candles. Symbolic meanings and religious meanings entangle in what is pagan and what is holy. Some might find this joining of spiritual and corporal morbid. However, in order to grieve one must celebrate the life lost by having a moment each year to share the stories of loved ones with younger generations is important and keeps the ancestry in tacked.

The work here makes visible the deep connection and importance to those we have lost. My small daily moments with loved ones whom I can no longer visit or call helps me move life itself forward. I am my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and so on. I am my father, my grandfather, my great grandfather and so on. Branches of love, care, and family are the ones I desire most as my lineage expands and decays.