I was able to participate in two venues related to Halloween celebration, both involving community and arts, and also both events sustain over time.
The first one I had the chance to participate on the Night of Dread by Clay and Paper theatre. A very particular way to celebrate halloween, gather community in the construction of masks and the preparations for the activity, and also use theater to do a participatory workshop ant talk about fears, write them down and burn them. I might said that is a unique ceremony and an opportunity to open your soul and heal. Death is also present, the skeletons, the dark colors in contrast with the carnaval circense live music, dance and joy of being alive going thru the contrasts and contradictions in life. It is a great opportunity to take your masks off and be weak, express all laugh that you are afraid of job interviews, of loss, technology, about dying… this discussion can be personal and also a political statement.
This event haves 19 years happening and I could feel the commitment and ownership of the community, in this occasion everything happen on 4 degrees and a rainy evening, it didn't matter, being cold is also a part of life, and the celebration must continue. I wonder what is the key for keeping this tradition alive, and how many people are continuously working to hold this spaces, how they manage the financial sustainability of this projects? It is a lesson to learn and I wish to have to occasion to interview David Anderson, that haves 46 years of artistic practice.
On sunday I attended to El Día de los Muertos, a Mexican celebration to death, honoring your loved ones with their favorite food and altars. The celebration of Evergreen Brickworks haves many of this elements but all together with a fair of handcrafts, food, music, arts and community. Some latinos with nostalgia about our culture, others wanting to have a taste of the cultural celebration and the food. This venue haves 9 years happening with a high assistance from the people.
La Catrina (death) was was a bride, dancing and holding hands with her boyfriend, we all wanted a picture, in my case, as usual I was “el mal tercio” (the lonely friend that hangs out with happy couples and ruins their romantic plans)
El día de los muertos organised by evergreen, vendors, volunteers was an open event, for people from many communities and the taste of it depended on your choice of activities and your own perspective and interests.
Both events were related to Death, facing your fears to it or inviting you to celebrate life and dance with the possibilities. The Night of Dreads had more european influenced aesthetics also by the cirensce puppets work of Paper and Clay theatre and also the halloween symbols that came with the immigrants, more participatory and with a long preparation to create the elements that will be used during the celebration, an event that shows strong community commitment. El día de los muertos give us a taste of Mexico, a celebration to life and a multicultural community enjoying the beauty of life and dead that manifest true food, music, and traditional symbols of indigenous cultures.