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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Euphrat Dia de los Muertos installation highlights freedom without borders

The+Dia+de+los+Muertos+offering+altar%2C+put+together+by+students+and+faculty%2C+is+featured+at+the+Euphrat+Museum+from+Nov.+1+to+Dec.+14.
Catherine Marchione
The Dia de los Muertos offering altar, put together by students and faculty, is featured at the Euphrat Museum from Nov. 1 to Dec. 14.

An offering altar built by students and faculty to remember family and friends that have passed on displaying at Euphrat Museum

Dozens of butterflies migrated to the De Anza campus during Undocumented Student Week of Action, landing upon an altar at the Euphrat Museum of Art from Nov. 1 to Dec. 14 in honor of the importance and significance of the idea of migration without borders.

Students and faculty members work together to build an altar or ofrenda, which translates to offering, to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, a yearly LatinX tradition on Nov. 1 and 2.

According to Google Arts and Culture, every altar includes four life’s essential elements which are water, wind, earth and fire to better prepare for the soul’s of the dead on a long journey traveling to another world.

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“Water is served in a clay pitcher or glass to quench the spirit’s thirst from their long journey. Fire is signified by the candles that are lit. Wind is signified by papel picado (tissue paper cut-outs). The earth element is represented by food, usually pan de muerto (bread of the dead).”

The altar is decorated in orange marigolds, lights, lit candles and pictures of their loved ones who have passed away as well as wooden butterflies students made from the artmaking session “UndocuArt: You Belong Here” and “UndocuQueer Art: Making and Belonging” held on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

Daryel Hernandez, 20, psychology and political science major, who joined the artmaking session said he was glad to be able to create his own butterfly signifying what meant home for him.

“It’s cool for us to be able to express ourselves,” Hernandez said. “(I love to) have it be displayed in the Euphrat Museum.”

Some students created collages of the images of animals they cherish most, others glued on glass beads and colorful gems to create mosaic patterns and painted intricate butterfly wing designs.

Jamie Pelusi hosts a warm-up activity for students attending the painting of the butterflies art session. The butterflies represent migrating without borders, and each student attending the session is encouraged to paint what makes them think of home. Students are seen working on their art pieces on Oct. 18 in the Higher Education for AB 540 Students. UndocuArt: You Belong Here event is in preparation for the art exhibit ‘Facing Home,’ which features elements of Dia de los Muertos. The student pictured on the far right is Kevin Ortiz, 26, liberal arts major. (Catherine Marchione)

Diana Aguirre, the director of the Euphrat Museum, initially had the idea of the project and donated the art materials to make the event come true. Jamie Pelusi, Pride center faculty coordinator, said that the butterflies are not just art but express a broader societal issue.

“The wooden butterflies are significant to the broader themes of migration and social justice,” Pelusi said “Using art as a medium for addressing important social issues is an important skill.”

Shaila Ramos Garcia, undocumented student support coordinator and UndocuSTEM program coordinator, said that the significance of butterflies is that it serves as symbols of migration and freedom.

“Butterflies migrate without borders, highlighting the idea of borderless nations,” Garcia said. “This concept relates to the restrictions imposed by borders and immigration policies. The wooden butterflies in this event serve as powerful symbols of the undocumented student experience and the aspiration for a world where migration is as free and natural as the flight of butterflies.”

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Catherine Marchione, Freelance Reporter
I am looking forward to working with a group of great people who all strive to provide the best and up-to-date news for students!

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