Watch the video above to understand the roots and branches of ofrenda-making traditions, then submit your own ofrenda to build this virtual altar.
Watch this video for ways to create daily intentional altars, then submit your own virtual ofrenda to help build this virtual altar.
Watch this video on how to make a corn husk doll, and then submit your own virtual ofrenda to help build this altar for the future.
Watch this workshop on the meaning of adding layers in altar structures, and then submit your own ofrenda to help build this living virtual altar.
Join us in the kitchen for a pozole workshop, then share your own recipe in honor of your links to generations past.
"A Constellation of Dreams" by Michelle Morado
This song is called Constellation of Dreams and it is a song for our ancestors, our living relatives, and future relations. Video by aNdi pUzL.
"Come Out The Wilderness" Song by Aina Braxton
To honor my ancestors, who sung spirituals to ground themselves in hope when all was hopeless. This music reaches into my DNA and I feel I know these songs before I ever “learn” them. I was inspired by The Como Mamas, a trio of sisters from Mississippi, who recorded this song, “Out of the wilderness” with The Daptones. We are in a time of wilderness and need to ground ourselves in hope like our ancestors. I worked with my brother, Adrian Braxton to record this song. It is for Mable Harris, Freddie Braxton, and Dorothy Johnson who all walked through the wilderness led by God.
"Little Brown Language Altaristas Project" Altar elements alchemically con'spired by Milvia Pacheco Salvatierra y Naomi Macalalad Bragin
Sampalataya is a Tagalog word meaning acts of faith.
Our virtual altar building/cellular collaboration emerged from a Tarot reading for the Little Brown Language performance project—to help move our creative process forward. The Tarot’s message spoke of waking up from a dream. We decided to rise early every morning to build altars over the phone. Our questions—how do we shift aspects of identity that do not serve us? How do we adjust to be in flow with the urgency and stillness of this moment? We called down the number “9” reminding us of earthly completion, moving on to a new phase of spiritual reflection and growth. The message called us to bring our ideas down to earth—the altar project became our daily practice of material creation to shake off stagnancy, trapped anxieties and fears. In the midst of collective disease, how are we moved to respond?
The altars are activations that focus the charge of the moment and makers. The idea is to work quickly and let intuition guide. Altars are living entities—they transform each day, birthing new altars. The altar is an energy map that bears witness to your process. As you arrange the altar, how are you breathing? How are you moving? Where do you feel your body in movement?
May we open all caminos. May we cut through all confusion. May we fortify our powers of intuition and interpretation to discern los mensajes que nos traen nuestros antepasados. May we destroy our enemies external and internal and cultivate 360 degree sense of insight. May we remember our unaccounted debt to our eggun. May we awake our creative capacity to transform transactional forms of relation, with each other and all entities in and more than the world.
#morningmeetings #virtualvigilantes #wildtongues #conspiracion
Motherhood - Nicaragua to Seattle
I decided to dedicate my altar to the women on the maternal side of my family, specifically focusing on the idea of motherhood. I feel that sometimes in modern, popular feminism, the idea of motherhood is pushed aside, it is thought that the only true way to fight the patriarchy is to destroy the roles that women have historically been put in. Often this means pushing aside women who find motherhood appealing. I wanted to showcase the powerful, vibrant mothers that I know. I wanted to additionally highlight the strength that motherhood embodies through the representation of la virgen maria, an important symbol in my culture as she a mother to us all.
“Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” by Zahra McKee
My altar is honoring missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) to try and raise awareness of this issue. In 2016, 5712 cases of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls were reported in the United States but only 116 cases were logged into the Department of Justice databases (Lucchesi 2). This altar is designed to encourage the viewer to actively remember these women. Included in the altar are traditional elements like candles, flowers, salt, and a water cup. Additionally, there are posters for missing indigenous women, the red fabric, as red is the color of the MMIW movement. There is also a feather to represent air, rocks to represent earth, shells to represent water, and the candles to represent fire. This combination of items is an attempt to acknowledge the history and traditions of altar building as a feminist resiliency practice, while also adapting to address the topic of missing and murdered indigenous women.
Dona Ofelia's moving description of the three deaths, the final death being when you were forgotten, made me think of my grandmother and my great grandmother, who I share my name with. They worked almost constantly - and often invisibly, without thanks (the way women's work is) to surround their loved ones with abundance, nourishment, and beauty. I also thought of my husband's mother and grandmother, whose struggle and suffering did not end when they left their former Soviet country and came to the US. I wanted to honor the sacrifice, strength, and beauty of all these four women and keep their memory alive.
The Selena Ofrenda - created by Nina Ulbrich
In the Selena Ofrenda, I am honoring the late Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, one of the most influential Mexican-American singers. Selena was known as the Queen of Tejano music, which is a mix of folk and popular music originating from Mexican-Americans in Texas. Selena was viewed as revolutionary to Tejano music because at the time, Tejano music was male dominated. Nevertheless, Selena reinvented Tejano and made it her own. In an interview about punk music Maylei Blackwell says “it helped me imagine another world was possible, because we created it. We created it with the music. We created it in the way we occupied space.” Just as women in punk created a space for themselves, Selena created a space for herself within Tejano music and for women in Latin music. Ultimately, she became one of the most influential Latin artists. A feminist icon, Selena paved the way for many female artists while also being a role model for many Latinas, including myself. Throughout my childhood, my mother and I often sang Selena’s songs. For me, she was a connection to my Latina heritage and her music was a way for me to practice my Spanish. Later on, I found out Selena only improved her Spanish once she became famous and as a Peruvian-American, I related to this as I speak broken spanish as well. Not only was Selena known for her music but also her fashion. She wore clothes that accentuated the Latina figure, embracing her Latina background. Just as Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Big Mama Thornton were trailblazers for Rock and Roll, Selena was a trailblazer for Latin Music. In Gayle Wald’s “Rosetta Tharpe and Feminist ‘Un-Forgetting’”, she writes “forgetting, like memory and remembering, is a social practice, not merely a function of the passing of time”. Selena is very famous within the Latinx community; however, as time passes she has started to be forgotten within the new generations. While Selena’s album Dreaming of You sold over 300,000 copies in one week, the third female artist to do so after Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, she is not as widely known as the other two artists. I created this ofrenda not only to honor Selena but also to share her accomplishments in music and as a feminist.
In my ofrenda, I incorporated the four elements along with other traditions from Dia De Los Muertos altars such as papel picado, paper flowers, salt, and a skull pattern to pay homage to Selena’s Mexican heritage. To represent earth, I included flowers on the upper level as well as a flower pot on the lower level. I included candles to represent fire as well as the fire in Selena’s soul that can be felt as she performed on stage. To represent water, I included a water fountain. This is also to quench her thirst when she visits the altar. To represent wind, I included papel picado and paper flowers, both of which flow in the wind. Additionally, I included an outline of Texas, the Whataburger logo, a motorcycle, a horse, and a pot of flowers. Selena was from Texas, just as Tejano music is from Texas, and her favorite restaurant was Whataburger. After researching more about Selena, I found out she owned a motorcycle and her dream was to live on a farm that had horses. She had already bought a ranch in Texas where she was planning to live, at the time of her death. I included the color purple in the cloth background as well as the flowers because her favorite color was purple.
Memory, justice, and dignity.
This altar honors the women who lost their lives from femicide in Juarez. It is centered around the lives of the missing women, the most important aspect is to illustrate the faces of those that have been harmed. I included images of both the lost women and their families because these crimes have a ripple-effect of trauma and to celebrate their memory and impact. In this altar, I intend to use many candles of all shapes and sizes to demonstrate the uniqueness of women to convey that the existences of these women will burn in our memories forever and will guide society towards a state of justice. Because each candle is a different size, shape, or color, it shows that women cannot be understood in one context, but rather they take on many different forms and roles in society. To represent earth, I want to honor their earthly presence and impact that these women have had on their communities through a series of linked chains/bracelets. These pieces of jewelry are traditionally worn by women, but by linking them together it shows that women will stand together in the face of injustice and it redefines female strength. I included a bottle of perfume to remind viewers that these women were dignified and should be treated with respect. The element of water in the altar is traditionally used to quench the souls of the departed on their long journey. Because these women were abused or murdered inhumanely, the water will be placed in an extravagant glass chalice to illustrate the worth of these women despite the tragedies that they have endured. I included bright orange flowers to contrast to the rest of the altar to demonstrate the bright lives these women have lived and will never be lost or forgotten. -Kimia Preston
Honoring Vietnamese Immigrants by Albert Lam
My altar is dedicated to the many Vietnamese and, like my own family, Chinese-Vietnamese immigrants who escaped Vietnam during the height of their civil war against an invading communist regime. Many families from Vietnam are Buddhist and have altars of our own, which made this relatively straightforward - I was able to use an urn and incense that we had at home. The burning incense pays respect to the many immigrant families who struggled to escape and struggled to make ends meet in a new country. The urn holding the ashes represents how the families essentially had all of their possessions burned away as they left them behind to rise up again and start anew in a foreign land. I chose to use a plastic water bottle specifically because the cap of those water bottles held the amount of water that was rationed to each person a day on many of the boats that Vietnamese refugees rode to escape. The mango and the flowering basil plant are foods that are common in Vietnamese cuisine and I thought the flowers, although small, had ties to ofrendas as well. Finally, the picture of Mì Hoành Thánh, or the Vietnamese interpretation of a Cantonese noodle soup, represents the fusion of cultures that 1. Chinese-Vietnamese families like my own experience and 2. all immigrants face when arriving in a new country.
This ofrenda offering, a collage, honors Aretha Franklin, regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time. Franklin was a black female singer, songwriter, actress, pianist and civil rights activist who came to fame in the 1970’s. She passed away in 2018.
The creator of this collage, Jaelin O'Halloran, chose to focus on Franklin first and foremost because she was an undeniable powerhouse in her industry but also because her legacy helps us to envision and create a more just and free future.
This ofrenda is honoring Ana Castillo: Chicana Feminist Fiction Writer - by Eric Fong
Much like other mediums of art, Fictional storytelling is a great way to bring awareness to the theoretical, social, and historical context of feminist altar making in the borderlands. Castillo’s creation of realistic fiction humanizes the lives of women living on the borderlands. Fiction serves as a great vehicle to create distance from the issue to make stories more readily accepted by viewers. Much like the works of artivism with Maya Jupiter, Castillo uses another form of art – writing – to engage audiences that are unfamiliar and might otherwise not engage with the ideas of Chicana Feminism. She paints the everyday social lives of Chicana Feminist living on the borderlands, she humanizes them in their struggles and triumphs, and she can rid the narrative that women are weak victims to their situation. Castillo’s writing is a great way to understand the importance of altar making as fiction serves a similar goal: provide evidence of one’s’ existence, connects transgenerational communities, and act as a sacred place for contemplation and learning.
Africa Book: Represents the origin and birthplace. Kebero Drum: The drum is talked about as the voice of the people. The Kebero drum is an instrument that is used primarily in East Africa. Balafon: An ancient percussion instrument that is primarily used in West Africa. The balafon is an instrument that would have reminded the new captives of home. I imagine some heard it in the wind. *represents wind. Water: Represents the waters of the Atlantic known as “The Middle Passage” where people were packed like Cargo and brought from West Africa to the Americas. Stories suggest that people sung in order to stay sane and locate other people who knew their songs on the ship. Also, an offering to the spirits. *represents water. Pitchfork: Represents enslavement and keeping the song tradition alive. Tobacco: An offering to the spirits and also a plant that many harvested and cured on plantations. *represents earth. Cigar Box: A main crop that many Black people were forced to farm for plantation owners. Most certainly music was sung for sorrow, hope, inspiration and spirituality while enslaved on plantations. Combination Lock: A combination lock was chosen to represent the way music was and continues to be used to gain freedom and emancipation from oppression. Directions to freedom were disguised in song. Music offered the combination that opened the lock. Candle: Represents shining the light for those to come after. The candle is for those who were passed down musical traditions and teachings. *represents fire. Native Hand drum: Represents the people whose home we occupy. The new grounds on which the music traditions continue. Red/Black/Green Fabric: Colors of the Black flag represents African people in America attempting to reconnect with Africa and their cultures through music. Records: Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Mombasa; Jazz artists that represent reaching back to Africa through music. Mombasa is also one of the records my Dad recorded. Records also represent the recording of (accurate) history and telling a story of origin and remembering. CD’s & Cassettes: Aretha Franklin, African Unity, Arrested Development, Shabazz Palaces: Additional artists who use music to relearn/reteach Africa to themselves and listeners through music. CDs and cassettes represent changes and evolutions, while remaining authentic.
Jenni Rivera Ofrenda by Leslie Munoz.
For my altar, I chose to honor Jenni Rivera because she is a well-known Mexican American artist that has been a part of my childhood growing up. Also, I wanted to honor her because she is a feminist icon. She has done many songs that deal with fighting against machismo. Additionally, she was very outspoken in her own struggles with domestic violence. To me, she is a good model of resilience. Even though she dealt with a lot of terrible things in her life, she continued to move forward, became successful, and inspired others. The butterflies signify the wind aspect of the ofrenda, and it is also Jenni Rivera’s symbol.I added some quotes throughout the altar to show how persistent and resilient Jenni Rivera was throughout her life.
"Healthcare Workers Are Our Heroes" by Bilal Manzer
This ofrenda honors the healthcare workers who are risking their lives for the sake of society during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Healthcare workers are dealing with an excessive amount of stress and are underappreciated by the public as numerous individuals forego the recommended precautions to help our community stay safe. My ofrenda is divided into three parts with the bottom level containing a vase with flowers and a picture of a healthcare worker. The flowers and picture symbolize the love and care these workers demonstrate in protecting the public. The first level contains the elements of fire and earth with a medical mask and scented candle symbolizing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and martyrdom of the brave healthcare workers who died fighting against the virus. The top level contains the elements of water and wind or air with hand sanitizer and a tissue. The hand sanitizer symbolizes protection against COVID-19 and the tissue resembles how the virus is a respiratory infection of the body. All of these components collectively signify the importance of healthcare workers and why they should be more appreciated.
Homemade Resistance by Grace Burchett
With this ofrenda, I aim to recognize efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 through the creation of homemade masks. Homemade masks highlight the gaping hole in the government's response to the crisis, and show how citizens found a creative solution to protect their family and community even when faced with PPE shortages. My parents are both part of the healthcare field, and so the base of the altar is the computer stand where they conduct much of their work remotely. The three masks in this ofrenda were made by my grandma, which shows how we rely on each other during these trying times.
Aqua Moon by Candace Chang
My ofrenda honors South Korean singer songwriter Jonghyun Kim. He used his songs and platform to advocate for acceptance and resilience. I hope to remember him for his contributions rather than his passing. The ofrenda is titled aqua moon because that is the color associated with him.
A Song Forgotten: Made by Monique Sternik and Celebrating the Life of her Babcia!
This Ofrenda celebrates the memory of my grandmother. Unfortunately, my grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's and we try to give her pieces of reality through Polish folk music. As I remember her history I hope you all do the same!
"For the Women Who Have Come Before"by Sadie Van den Bogaerde
My ofrenda honors those who have paved the way for women today. As women continue in our struggle for equality, I believe that it is crucial to take a moment and remember the women before us who have helped us reach the point we are at today. Without the contributions of countless women before us, we would have to be fighting that much harder than we already are. My ofrenda is dedicated to all of these women, whether they be famous for their fights for equality or nameless victims of the patriarchy. I've included the photos of my two grandmothers, who are women who have profoundly shaped my life personally, but this altar isn't just for them. I believe that is our fight for a more equitable future for all, it is essential to always recall our past.
“Black Women Navigating Prison Cultural Thread”
Dedicated to Angela Davis by Jeanne Zierten
I wish to honor Angela Davis whose activism works on behalf of the Black Women Prisoners singing in sewing sweet shops from 1930 to 1/2020 while producing commodities for the industrial prison complex. My Altar draws from the life and work of Activist Angela Davis; the work of Shobana Shankar’s Parchman Women Write the Blues? What Became of Black Women's Prison Music in Mississippi in the 1930s; Law Professor Derrick Bell’s Race, Racism & American Law, 6th ed, Prison Profiteers; Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration, 2007, edited by Herivel & Wright; and visual inspiration found in the collective work of Cultural Threads, Textiel Museum & Textiel Lab, October 2018.
Music and labor thread elements of Air, floating altar; Water (tears of women prisoners represented in their voice and music; Fire, Derrick Bell and Angela Davis passion to end injustices; Earth, death of women’s voices and women’s bodies in prisons caused by the injustices of our culture that feeds into the prison complex while making money off of the Coronavirus-19 masks. The backdrop is original songs written by women in prison in the 1930’s.
3rd level of the 2020 prisoner women sewing masks for the Coronavirus-19 in Prison Sweat Shops, many of these women will die in prison due to poor health care and lack of the masks that they make for Corporate America.
Legends: In Memory of Juice WRLD
Estelle is offering a watercolor painting in memory of rapper and songwriter Jarod Anthony Higgins who is better known as Juice WRLD. Water is the foundation to bring life and color to illustrate Higgins’ 21 years of life. Though he faced challenges with trauma and drug abuse growing up, he speaks on the injustices and the untold stories people of color experience. So, to remember the why to his music and his life stories, I used water to bring his soul back into existence.
Janelle Monae by Masami O'Malley
Janelle Monae is a queer Black female artist who dedicates her music towards empowering those who are in marginalized groups, with a focus on black power, women empowerment and sexual freedom. She acknowledges the history of specifically Black women being silenced and hidden. To quote one of her songs, “[y]ou kept in the back of the store: we ain't hidden no more” (Monae, 2018). She is redefining music from the source, demanding not only a seat at the table, but a voice and a spotlight. I created a collage painting as my offering and including different representations of different elements in my multi-media piece.
Whitney Houston the Queen! by Gabriele le
I used Whitney signature to represent keeping alive the artist and using her signature as an archive to immortalize her. Pointing to the mechanisms of erasure that we learned about through our lectures I thought this re-creation of Whitney‘s famous signature could be used as a representation of an alternative archive of keeping an artist alive. Whitney Houston as you already know has been an iconic artist in our time and has had everlasting impacts on the music industry and music as we know and listen to today. Her tunes and her voice carry-on through the years from the day she started as a young girl. Her story resonates with many and even her death sadly clouds the amazing journey she had taken as an artist. To showcase this cloud I placed a gray overlay over her beautiful canvas to show how this once beautiful vibrant young and healthy young woman was swept up by fame and the negative aspects that come with it. The use the blues of water and stars to show the glitz and glam her Whitney’s life. The use of fire in the orangey backgrounds to show again how vibrant her fame was in her music and the positive light she spread with her song and voice. I didn’t wanna build an altar just around Whitney but instead showcase her and use her creation as an addition to the larger altar. Hopefully adding to more women and remembering more women in music in history whose memory should live on forever. I also thought of how black women throughout history have been undermined and clouded by irrelevant factors like what she has. The death and the story of her drug addiction I feel truly clouded her beautiful career as an artist and discredited her in many ways. This happens all the time and has happened throughout history especially to women of color. Their work and creativity and artistry have been discredited and systematically erased from the dominant narratives and history of music. By using this art of her I hope to keep Whitney’s legacy alive and remember that at one point before all the mess and the drama and the drug abuse that life was beautiful and her music was thriving.
Matzah Ball Soup honoring Great Grandmother Sarah Hizami by Sarah Hizami
This is the soup that my great-grandmother learned to make from her parents (who lived in Yemen and grew up in Israel), who she taught to my grandmother (living in Los Angeles), who taught the recipe to me (who goes to school in Seattle). This soup helps me to remember where I come from and it allows me to appreciate my family more.
"Remembrance for Classic Bollywood Songs" created by Malikah Nathani. An offering to the song "Zindagi Ek Safar" sung by Kishore Kumar.
A Traditional Southern Black Meal - An offering to the black female pioneers of rock and roll by Cole Pugliano.
Biggie Smalls Memorabilia
La Gran Diva de la Banda honoring Jenni Rivera by Maricruz Maldonado
My offering for remembering La Gran Diva de la Banda is a plate of frijoles. It may seem like a simple meal, but it represents her very well for the following reasons. To begin with, it is a sign of humbleness and her mom said that it was her favorite meal. Jenni Rivera never forgot her roots even when she climbed to fame. Furthermore, beans begin as a solid and transform into a soft meal. This represents Jenni Rivera because she changed the lives of many women with her songs empowering them. She was also the only woman in the genre Banda.
Offering to Whitney Houston by Shiena Carmen
I am offering an assorted platter of sushi to Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston is an inspiration to many people. She was raised around singers, her mother and cousin were both known in American gospel. Not only is Whitney Houston a wonderful singer, she was also one the first African American to be featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Early exposure to the industry and success is what garnered her legacy and success. We remember Whitney Houston for not only her contribution to music, but also hope and inspiration that she was able to overcome some boundaries of a white favored music industry. Whitney Houston helped create charities and opportunities. Whitney Houston was known for her music, charity works, awards, and family ties. She built her success and her power is what reverberates her fans to keep her legacy and history alive. Whitney Houston is an inspiration because regardless of the hardships she faced throughout her career, she was able to live her success beyond just recognition, but inspiration to many to still use her music even after her death. Her favorite food was sushi. I made a platter of a variety of sushi to remember her favorite dish. Offering her favorite meal is respect in remember her. The small things such as meals is what helps live her legacy, every small detail counts as history in her legacy.
"Altar for speculative fiction and imaginary worlds" by Haleh Mawson
I built this altar out of the speculative fiction books I have read and loved. Science fiction, from its start in the modern world with Frankenstein, has always been a genre for questioning conventions and humanizing the strange, breaking down doors in our minds and showing us the world in new ways. It's a take-all-kinds genre, a thousand different modes of thought and questions about life that get lumped together in the same place because of their fundamental curiosity about how our world is constructed, the basic need to poke at reality and see if there is more there than meets the eye. I made this altar to thank the books which have shaped me and made me believe that the only boundaries of our existence are the bounds of our own imagination. The authors featured are Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Jorge Luis Borges, T.H. White, Samuel R. Delany, Naomi Mitchison, V.E. Schwab, and Amar El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone.
"The Buddy Rich Ofrenda" by Yichi Zhang
My ofrenda built for honoring Buddy Rich, one of the most influential drummer in the world. I created this ofrenda with flowers, cymbals, water, and candle.
Hi, my name is Natalie (she/her) and I am an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I have created an altar for Frida Kahlo. Known for her self-portraits, Mexician Artist Frida Kahlo depicted both the female experience and the culture of Mexican and Indigenous people in the early 1900’s. Kahlo was multicultural, with her father being from Germany and her mother was part Mexican and part Native American. Kahlo was also disabled for most of her life, having had Polio at a young age and then having been in a serious bus accident as a teenager. Kahlo’s fame grew in the 1970’s when the feminist movement began to recognize her work in portraying the female Mexican experience. Being a multicultural, disabled artist, Kahlo is able to run parallel to the Chicana experiences that are showcased in altars. Kahlo’s altar displays many elements of her self-portraits, including parrots shown in her self portrait Me and My Parrot, roots that reflect mother earth and were shown in her self portrait Roots, and a paintbrush for her historical impact on art. Elements of Chicana Altars were used for four key elements: fire, water, wind and earth and represented by a candle, flag, glass with water, plants/flowers, bread, and stuffed animals. The backdrop and cloth for Kahlo’s altar is bright, vibrant fabric similar to the colors used in many of her paintings and serve to further represent her Mexican identity. Overall, I created an altar in memory of Frida Kahlo and her importance in remembering Mexican Women’s lived experiences in the early 1900’s as well as creating a route for more women to have this space.
Remembering Romanian Feminism by Paul Druta
This altar is dedicated to the underappreciated efforts of Romanian women throughout the history of Romania. Coming from a Romanian family, this is a topic that is important to me. The struggle for progress in regards to feminism has been a global one, but not all countries have made the same amount of progress as others. Though it is now a member of the European Union and has become increasingly economically developed in recent times, Romania has lagged behind other European countries in terms of gender equality. Romanian women are often excluded from academia and other institutions of power and a large scale feminism movement is virtually non-existent. This is despite the numerous contributions that women have made to Romania society. I created this altar in order to honor these underappreciated women and celebrate their importance and their march towards greater equality. The power of the altar is the ability to remember the contributions of those who have come before us so I chose to emphasize the rural village history of Romania with my artifacts, since in the village women contribute greatly to the survival of these small communities. In my altar, I feature several key artifacts that represent the four natural elements of fire, earth, sky/wind, and water. These are as follows: the clay plates in the bottom tier represent the earth, the pan flute in the bottom tier represents the sky/wind, the figurine water well on the top tier represents water, and the various candles represent fire.
Sex Work and the Borderlands by Clarissa Lunday
My Ofrenda honors the sex workers who have died while doing their work. My goal is to use my virtual Ofrenda to protest violence against sex workers because their work is not seen as work. Because of the passing of FOSTA/SESTA and the take down of the website Backpage, sex workers have had to adapt to the ever changing or more violent climate that these situations have caused. They ask for decriminalization of their work and for our government to listen to their wisdom on taking down sex traffickers. I hope that my Ofrenda gives a voice to the women who have died for this cause. Here is a link to the Ofrenda.
This is an ofrenda for Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who organized against the military dictatorship in Argentina. It was made by Emilia Garcia-Bompadre
In Memory of Tupac Shakur by My Nguyen
I created my drawing in honor of Tupac Amaru Shakur, formerly known as 2Pac, who was an American actor and rapper until his death in 1996. This art is meant to demonstrate the injustices and travails endured by many African Americans. Tupac’s lifestyle and his message within the music industry was always a cry for justice for the Black community. My main focus is raising awareness about gang rivalry in Los Angeles because gang violence was prevalent in Tupac’s life and helped shape his character. He was trapped within this gang nihilism and even began to embrace it. This art production is meant to be a black-and-white portrayal within the Black and Brown community often due to gang violence and perpetuated by the police. We, as a collective society, have failed Black men and women repeatedly by refusing to listen to their pain and center their stories.
"2Pac's Legacy" by Teonn Potts Jr
My ofrenda celebrates the life of an artist that has much influence on both my family and my childhood. Tupac Shakur’s legacy seems to live on as one of the most iconic figures of the 90’s. Tupac has influenced hip-hop and its listeners, arguably, more than any other artist from the 90’s, and became an inspiration to many people around the world.
Never Dies: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse
Never Dies: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse, is an ofrenda created by Eva Anderson which showcases the "troubled track" that Winehouse lived. She wrote and sang candidly about her struggles and showed resiliency throughout her short life. Her music and soul lives on in those that love the soulful sounds she has created.
Amy by Winter Roberts
This drawing honors Amy Winehouse's resilience in persisting through hard times under public scrutiny and recognizing, on more than one occasion, that she needed help.
This Ofrenda, made by Katharine Landahl, is honoring and remembering Amy Winehouse, a voice of her - and future, generations of Jazz. A virtuoso of song writing, a unmatched unique voice and sound, Amy passed before the peak of her genius could be known. Amy wanted to write and sing at her pace, for the sake of creation. The public could not accept the privacy she pleaded for. She had shown the depths of her self through her music and we wanted more, causing her decent 'Back to Black'.
"Ofrenda for Amy Winehouse" by Daniela Velazquez
In my ofrenda for Amy, I have decided to add the four elements that cater to Amy's interest to honer her time here on earth. The items I have included are a hair dryer for air, a flower for earth, a cigarette for fire, and a glass of wine for water.
The Avicii Wall by Gianni Landby
Inspired by the “Lennon Wall” in Prague, I created my own to honor and present an altar of one of my favorite artists – Avicii. The world is still struck by the emptiness that Avicii’s death caused in our hearts, but the combination of his music and the Tim Bergling Foundation allow his legacy to live on forever, and I hope this altar captures that.
"Let's Talk About Sex" honoring: Salt-N-Pepa, by Siena Utt
Salt-N-Pepa were monumental for their contributions to the genre of hip hop and set the foundation for what was to become hip-hop feminism. Their focus on sex positivity and lyrics that empowered rather than objectified women set the stage for a new generation of hip hop, one with artists like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.
I chose the hip hop artist “Juice Wrld” because he has influenced me a lot in High school of having pain and being heartbroken by girls and he was a big drug addict smoking weed and popping pills and sipping lean. Juice wrld died on of a drug overdose on December 8, 2019, and it really affected a lot of people who are going through depression and drug addictions and going through heart breaks, who were a big fan of him. Juice wrld still has songs that are being released after his death, songs that are still really good.
The items that I chose in the altar really represent the true soul and spirit of Juice. There are pictures of his albums that were really good and blew up big time and really spoke to me with his songs like “ All girls are the same”, “ Hear me Calling”, “I’m still”, and “Lean wit me”, those are the songs that really stuck with me. Another good piece of representation in that Ofrenda, is the cup and the Jolly ranchers and the cough syrup, because those are the ingredients to make a drink drug called “ Lean”. This was a big part of Juice wrld’s life, he was addicted to this drink, also with the pills he was on, it was the one of the reasons why he was a good artist because of the drugs tried to help with his pain and make him numb, but it wasn’t really helping, only made it worse by giving him a drug addiction. The last thing that I think was a good piece was the composition notebook , because Juice Wrld was a really good freestyler. One of the elements in the ofrenda is Earth, and that represents the rose. The rose represents Juice, a beautiful human being that only wants peace for the earth. That is why his name is Juice “Wrld” (World). Another element in the ofrenda is Air. I used my pet bird as air because they can fly just as Juice can when he is high from the drugs and how when he is dead he can fly like an angel. And he likes to have the angel coding, 999, it represents balance in life and how when there is bad, you will always finish it, to get to the good. Another element that I think is a big one about Juice wrld that represents Water, is the Lean, because that Lean is a big addiction that really made Juice wrld a good hip hop artist and someone that people can follow because they can relate to him, and he is a big role model for kids in high school that are going through bad times in their life. Lastly , the element of Fire: the candle. The candle represents the death of Juice Wrld, and that he can live forever in our souls.
Honoring one of the greatest guitarists of all time Jimi Hendrix, the piece is honoring him, by Gary Tran
DAVID BOWIE ALTAR by Raia Karmali
David Bowie helped us create a more free and just future through his gender expression and contributions towards the global rock scene.
Passion of a Legend, Honoring Freddie Mercury - by Autumn Freund
In Honor of Bob Marley by Moeilealoalo Tafisi
Nipsey Hussle by Lenell Bynum
"The Marathon Continues" by Julian Cooper
This offering recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit of Nipsey Hussle and signifies the importance of the memorial t-shirt in the African American community. Tragedy and trauma are expected life events in many African American communities and the memorial t-shirt is a way to honor community members and continue their legacy, however big or small.
Ofrenda for Chester, by Arjun Sen
Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, has consistently been one of my go to artists throughout my childhood. Linkin Park in the 2000s led the nu-metal and rock genres in a way that few other bands were able to replicate, and had an exceptionally large following in India where I spent most of my childhood. His death was my first experience with the death of an artist, and was emotionally very tough for me. The parts of the ofrenda represent the various aspects of Chester's life- the candles for his last song, the broken guitar for the band he left behind, and the beer and pills symbolizing the overcoming of his struggles with addiction.
"What's Going On?" by John Bato-Borja
For my ofrenda, I decided to choose the “Prince of Soul”, Marvin Gaye, as I grew up listening to his soulful, R&B hits and I wanted to honor an artist that not only had a massive impact on the development of the soul genre, my favorite genre by the way, but also on the development of two genres in the future that I enjoy today, quiet storm and neo soul.
“Remembering Modern Pop for the Future”, by Brendan Welzien, honoring artist, Pop Smoke
His life can be coined to the notion of live-fast and die-young. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he made his way through the ranks of hip-hop and rap with his breakthrough single, “Welcome to the Party”. Unfortunately, he passed away at age 20 in Los Angeles, California.
"Resilience in Rock" by Winona George
The artist displayed on the top of the ofrenda is Dolores O’Riordan (1971-2018) who is the lead singer of the Irish rock band “The Cranberries”. One of my favorite songs is called “Zombie” because of how soft the song starts and it progresses into a more powerful aesthetic sound. She is known for her very unique voice that people today try to mimic but are unsuccessful in doing so. Here is the link for the song "Zombie", by Dolores O'Riordan. I also recommend the Bad Wolves cover of her song, "Zombie" the was made in her honor when she passed away because it is just as good, .