The forgotten dead of a Megalopolis Featured

Written by 
Published in Talks & Conferences
Sep 09, 2011
Rate this item
(0 votes)

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’

The cemetery space could be argued or understood to be a social, political, socio-culturally dynamic and sociomythic space, yet when the dead die alone, without identity, then a cemetery takes on a darker and sinister twist. My paper explores how a cemetery in a megalopolis such as Mexico City turns into a waste dump for the carcass of the human body. In this context if a person in Mexico City is unknown and its body unclaimed by its family or friends, the dead ends striped of its role as a social person, dehumanised and treated as waste, a corpse or a pile of bones, striped of its human dignity. There are instances more common than not were the dignity and humanity of the dead has been excluded from the overall complexity of current Mexican funerary practices. This paper will look particularly at the forgotten dead that find their final resting place in common unmarked graves, such as the ones located in Panteón Civil de Dolores, Mexico D.F.

This paper addresses why people persist in maintaining a relationship with their dead, exploring the social and cultural tools that are used to extend the dead’s biographical narratives such as secular and religious commemorative objects and the photographic portrait. ‘Not letting go’ is of fundamental value for my research participants as striping the dead from their humanity could place us in danger of excluding ourselves from becoming dynamic members of the human community when we die.

9-12 Sept: The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, 10th International Conference’

Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Read 275 times Last modified on Friday, 27 May 2016 11:18
Marcel Reyes - Cortez

Marcel Reyes - Cortez is a Visual Anthropologist living and working in London.

As a visual anthropologist and artist, Marcel’s current research explores the fusion between photographic practice and academic research in an attempt to promote and enrich the collaboration and exchange between them.

Website: reyes-cortez.com
Back To Top