This book documents the San Francisco Day of the Dead Festivities held on November 2nd, 2007.
The San Francisco Day of the Dead festivities have been a tradition in San Francisco’s Mission District for 29 years. This event transcends across cultures as artists, individuals, school children, families and everyone in the community are invited to attend and participate. This book includes images of the altar installations in the afternoon in Garfield Park, the annual Día de los Muertos walking procession at 24th & Bryant in San Francisco’s Mission District and the Festival of Altars in Garfield Park after dark. Local artists are commissioned to build large-scale altar installations for the Festival of Altars. Everyone is invited to bring flowers, candles, photos, remembrances for the altars.
Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos has been celebrated by the indigenous people of Mexico for over 3,000 years. This festival welcomes the souls of the dead who are said to return each year to be with their living family and friends to celebrate and enjoy the best of things they had in life. Today, the tradition continues. Día de Los Muertos varies from town to town in Mexico, and not surprisingly, the city of San Francisco adds its own unique flavor to the Day.
This is the perfect event for night photography as the long exposures create ghostlike images of the many participants. As the sun goes down; the marigolds, candles, incense and altars call to the spirits. Its hard to tell in the pictures who is in this world and who is a from another. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Marla Showfer is a photographer who grew up in Michigan, lived in Chicago for 12 years and currently lives in Sausalito, California. She has traveled in more than 30 countries and photographs people, their environments and anything that strikes her as slightly unusual.