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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty One: Interpreting cultural festivals -- Mexico’s Day of the Dead > The Day of The Dead Flags, Guanajuato, Mexico, 2005
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The Day of The Dead Flags, Guanajuato, Mexico, 2005

These flags are made of paper that is folded and then hand-cut. Most of them portray human skulls in various attitudes. I underexposed these flags against dark trees and an early morning sunrise, and just as I was making the picture, a large bird soared directly over them, creating a juxtaposition of symbols. The flags represent death; the bird flying freely through the image stands for the spirit. It almost made me wonder if it was just a fortunate accident, or if this image was somehow part of a greater design.

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Phil Douglis14-Dec-2005 21:27
Thanks, Jen, for this comment. It's the bird that brings the flags to life here. It is the bird that to me represents the souls of the departed. The linkage of the flags is important too, as you say. I intended them to represent the dead, but you see them as a continuum of life and death. Thanks for that thought.
Jennifer Zhou14-Dec-2005 05:54
I see connections here Phil.. The flags are linked by a string expressing the connections of human's souls, no matter if we are still here or long time gone. Another link is the flying bird and "flying" flags...They seem to share a same spirit..
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