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Day of the Dead Altar
Nov 1 2019 - 9:00am to Nov 15 2019 - 5:00pm

A special Day of the Dead altar will be on exhibit in Love Library.

The altar’s theme is “Those Who Came Before: Stolen and Offered Lives.” Constructed by students and faculty from Chicano & Chicana Studies, it is an ofrenda, or offering to civil rights activists, especially pioneering students and faculty who helped form the Chicana/o Studies department at SDSU fifty years ago.  It will also honor migrants who lost their lives on the trek from Mexico and Central America to the United States. 

This class project, led by Dr. Norma Iglesias-Prieto incorporates traditional forms from Mexico. It will hold photographs, flowers, food, candles, and small art pieces.  Common symbols of this holiday include the skull (calavera), butterflies, and marigold flowers.

The creation by SDSU students includes innovations developed by Chicana/o/x cultural workers in the United States, especially the concept of using the altar as a political installation in a public space.  The purpose of these altars is to project pride in Mexican ethnic identity and to make a political statement. 

Student research and collaboration: over the summer, students in Dr. Norma Iglesias-Prieto’s class researched the lives of the altar honorees, producing short biographies of each person.  These histories contextualize individual lives within the broader parameters of political activism. Visitors may read these works, which will be on view adjacent to the altar in Love Library Room LL160.

Activities in support of the Day of the Dead and the 50th anniversary of the founding of Chicana/o Studies at SDSU. 

  • October 28-30:  Students and faculty will build the Day of the Dead Altar in Room LL-160. 
  • October 29: Lens on Chicano/a/x Children's Literature book exhibit and student book reviews will be installed in the children's collection area on the fourth floor of Love Library.
  • November 1:  Day of the Dead Commemoration from noon-1pm.  A short lecture with music, and the traditional sharing of bread and coffee.
  • November 5: Chicana/o Studies Timeline will be installed on the wall just north of the donor crystals.  The opening ceremony is at 3:30 pm.

This exhibit and the related program are open to the public.  SDSU Parking information available at:  https://bfa.sdsu.edu/campus/parkingtrans/parkinginfo.aspx