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Visitation to the Dead
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© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Mexican, 1932
Gelatin silver print
7 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.
92.XM.23.13

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Seated under the arch of a deteriorating cemetery wall, this group of women and children waits to honor their deceased relatives by visiting their graves. Death, as viewed by Mexico's indigenous people, is a continuation of life, a time when one becomes truly awake. The eroding wall and barren tree branches nonetheless convey an atmosphere of foreboding. Manuel Alvarez Bravo's image is not about the celebrations that are held for the dead, but about the longing that accompanies the passage from life to death.