Day of the Dead 2011 Photography Workshop: Best of Week Fiesta

Every good party in Oaxaca starts with Coronitas and mescal.  Our final celebration and photography show for our Best of Week shots was no different! We invited our host families to the event, and Josefina and her family prepared a delicious buffet meal.

Taurino, Eloisa’s husband and Josefina’s son-in-law, staffed the bar, Eloisa was the designated babysitter for Lilly, and the guests began to arrive by 7 p.m.  The buffet dinner included taquitos con pollo with guacamole, black beans, salsa verde, cole slaw, and fresh fruit skewers — pineapple, watermelon, papaya and cantaloupe.   The steamed veggies — a medley of

carrots, green beans, and broccoli — were perfectly cooked and could easily be finger food.  A big pitcher of fresh brewed hibiscus flower juice offered a non-alcoholic alternative.  I was glad to have the time to take these food photos because during the week we were either so busy or too ravenous to take pictures of the delicious food we ate along the way.

Plus, for me having just discovered the delights of night photography using a tripod, I took the opportunity this evening to capture the ambience of our culminating evening event.

We each presented 10-20 of our best photos of the week that included streets scenes in Oaxaca city, night at the Xoxocotlan cemetery, the weaving and natural dye demonstration with Federico Chavez Sosa in Teotitlan del Valle, and the experience of being with a host family in the village for Day of the Dead and going with them to the cemetery as part of the family.  The presentation was extraordinary.  I will be publishing some of these photos later.

After all the guests had left, we gathered on the rooftop patio for a final toast (and several more) to a great week together.  This was our view!

Participant Summaries of the Workshop:

  • This was truly a one-in-a-lifetime experience, and every aspect of tis program exceeded my expectations.  Norma and Bill, you were incredible guides to culture, photography, and more!  I loved the vigil experience at the cemeteries in Xoxocotlan and could have stayed until dawn — it was for this particular opportunity that I enrolled in this Day of the Dead expedition, and yet this was only one of the impressive components.  In addition, we learned first-hand about cooking, preparation of home altars, weaving, markets, village life, and of course, photography.  The diversity of our group members’ experiences and contributions further enriched the program.  In a nutshell, the expedition was absolutely well organized with great technical teaching by Bill and a wonderful, culturally-sensitive leader in Norma.  I highly recommend it to others. — Jenny Snead Williams, Executive Director, Duke University Center for Latino/a Studies in the Global South, Durham, NC
  • I expected to learn a lot and I did.  I wanted to get off of “automatic”  and Bill taught me that and more.  The workshop lived up to my expectations!  — Cheryl Cross-Davison, Bowie, MD
  • Good location, facilities and photo help.  — Liz Bryan, British Columbia, Canada
  • The visit with the family was most memorable for me.  — Wayne Kubal, Tucson, AZ
  • The workshop was interesting, informative and well-done.  The time I spent with the host family gave me an insight into a world I would not otherwise know. — Jen Haynes, British Columbia, Canada
  • The night in the Xoxocotlan cemetery was a totally unique mix of spiritual and carnival.  A lot of fun photographing a singularly photogeek event. Thank you, Norma!  A job well-done!  — Nicholas Eckert, Washington, DC

DOTD 2011 Photography Expedition Group

 

 

 

 

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