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Posts Tagged ‘San Pedro Teococuilco’

Yesterday, in the midst of Guelaguetza festivities, Oaxaca learned of the death of one of her beloved artists.   A sculpture and painter, Alejandro Santiago was only 49 years old when he succumbed to a massive hear attack.

Image of Alejandro Santiago projected on screen at Homage

Image of Alejandro Santiago projected on the screen at today’s Homage

Perhaps his most important work resulted from a return to the Zapotec village of his birth, San Pedro Teococuilco, after many years away.  He was moved by the large numbers of men and women who had left, leaving it almost deserted.  Inspired and feeling the need to make a statement about what had happened to his pueblo, and countless others in Mexico, he created a massive exhibition of 2501 sculptures, an homage to those who had left, plus one — those who are yet to make the journey northward.

One of his 2501 Migrants from a 2012 exhibit along Macedonio Alcalá,

One of his 2501 Migrants from a 2012 exhibit along Macedonio Alcalá,

There was an Homage to Maestro Alejandro Santiago this morning at the Teatro Macedonio Alcalá.

Casket of Alejandro Santiago on the stage of Teatro Macedonio Alcalá

Casket of Alejandro Santiago on the stage of Teatro Macedonio Alcalá

And, according to Think Mexican, there will be a memorial “in the coming days at La Calera.”

For more photos from the 2501 Migrants exhibit, see my blog post The path of the migrant.

Update:  Valerie J. Nelson has written a lengthy tribute to Alejandro Santiago for the Los Angeles Times.

RIP, Maestro.

 

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… let us walk together.  And we, in Oaxaca city, have been for the past several weeks thanks to Oaxaca born artist Alejandro Santiago.

The streets and sidewalks around Santo Domingo have been peopled with “La Ruta del Migrante – Caminemos Juntos,” his heart wrenching sculptures representing the 2,501 migrantes, men and women, who have left his pueblo of San Pedro Teococuilco almost deserted.

No two sculptures are the same; each is a tribute to the unique individuals who, most certainly with great reluctance, left the homes of their families and ancestors to make their way north in search of jobs.  The pain in their contorted bodies, their faces, and their feet causes me to pause every time I pass.  I’ll let the images speak for themselves and ask the questions societies all over the world need to answer.

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These migrantes on the streets of Oaxaca are scheduled to disappear at the end of the month and I don’t know where they are next headed.  However, two documentaries have been made about Santiago’s tribute to migrantes:  Twenty Five Hundred & One by Patricia Van Ryker and 2501 Migrants: A Journey directed by Yolanda Cruz.

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