Where the dead go. Photo zine on how societies deal with death
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
I am fascinated by the variety of human culture and religion. This photo zine focuses on cemeteries, rites surrounding death and the ideas various societies have regarding how to stay in touch with the deceased.
Spiritists, for instance, believe in immortal spirits that temporarily inhabit physical bodies for several necessary incarnations. Via mediums, we can communicate with them.
For Maya people in Guatemala, dead ancestors are close enough that they talk to them and eat with them at their graves. Their cemeteries are colourful and living places.
We assume that you cannot take money with you when you die, but wealthy families spend much effort and money to create imposing and artistic last resting places.
According to an old tradition in Naples (Italy), people pray to the skulls of unknown persons, asking the deceased for help.
At the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo (Sicily, Italy), we can see long walls with standing mummies. People embalmed their deceased family members and exposed them there so that they could continue seeing them.
The photographs shown in this zine were collected while traveling in the course of several years.
Warning: The zine includes photos of skeletons, mummies and graves. Decide for yourselves whether you want to see this.
Where the dead go. Photo zine by Ralf Steinberger, 48 pages, February 2021.
You can download a softcopy by clicking below. Contact me if you want a printed copy.