I’m lucky to have traveled to so many wonderful places around the world, but some of the most beautiful and fascinating cultural experiences I’ve had have been right here in Minnesota.
There is a lot of ethnic diversity in Minnesota, including large Mexican, Kurdish, Somali, and Hmong communities. (It’s not all Fargo, Ole and Lena jokes, and Garrison Keillor.) All of these groups continue the spiritual and cultural practices of their ancestors. This close-to-home cultural mix means I don’t have to go very far to experience (and photograph) fascinating, vibrant, and beautiful celebrations.
Last year I was fortunate to have an opportunity to photograph the Aztec dance troop Kalpulli Ktzal Coatlicue as they participated in public and private festivities during the Days of the Dead.
Experiencing another culture without leaving home can offer the same (or better) photographic opportunities as traveling to another part of the world. It has the added benefit (or challenge, depending on your inclination) of forcing you to see another culture not as a tourist show or an exhibit in a living museum, but as a treasured part of the lives of your neighbors.
These are my neighbors.
Best wishes to all of you this year as you remember and celebrate.
A Private Celebration of the Days of the Dead in Minneapolis
A Public Celebration of the Days of the Dead in Minneapolis