Visual documentation is a supplementary and enriching technique of doing fieldwork in anthropology. The use of photography and video is a helpful resource to record the daily lives and practices of peoples. I often integrate photography in my research strategy to describe the aesthetics, the pass of time, and how spaces are constructed. All this can provide original analytical insights in the study.
Santa Muerte, New York City, 2019.
The popular devotion to the folk saint Santa Muerte has quickly expanded in Mexico since the early 2000s. The activities are organized by self-appointed ministers, and many devotees come from marginal and vulnerable groups. Single mothers, migrants, unemployed people, terminal ill, sexual minorities, criminals and sex workers find protection and community around the image of Santa Muerte.
In New York City, Mexican and Central American migrants meet and pray a ‘rosary’ to Santa Muerte every month. Devotees carry out rituals and prayers to thank the saint for a received favor, or ask for one. Here, some images of the New Year Celebration that took place in January 2019.
Copyrights of these images remain by the author.