Border Crossings: This and Other Worlds (November 2–4), a three-day series of programs, performances, and installations that takes inspiration from global practices of honoring those who are no longer with us—e.g., El Dia de Los Muertos (the Mexican “Day of the Dead”); the Buddhist and Taoist “Ghost Festival” of Zhong Yuan Jie; the Christian holiday of All Souls Day; and Qingming or “Tomb Sweeping Day,” a traditional Chinese celebration. With many free events, Border Crossings is a weekend of celebration, reflection, and commemoration.

Co-presented by Bard Graduate Center and The Green-Wood Cemetery, Border Crossings is part of a series of public programs designed to complement our current exhibition Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place. We welcome participants of all backgrounds and religious beliefs.

Participatory Altar by Adrián Viajero Román

The centerpiece of Border Crossings is an altar designed for the community by artist, Adrián Viajero Román, a long time Sunset Park resident. His inspiration is the El Dia de Los Muertos altars created to honor the dead throughout Mexico and the Mexican diaspora. Viajero’s altar commemorates loved ones who have crossed the border from life to death. In particular, his Puerto Rican compatriots who died during Hurricane Maria in 2017 and those who lost their lives while crossing a border between Mexico and the United States.

Add something of your own and be a part of this work of art. All visitors are invited to bring personal offerings to the altar. Flowers, photographs, notes, and/or other objects are welcome. (Please note that offerings left at the altar cannot be returned.)


The programs listed below will take place in Green-Wood’s Modern Chapel. Please ask security at the Gothic Arch for where to go.

Friday, November 2

7 pm
$15 / $10 for members of Green-Wood with RSVP

Making an Exit: From the Magnificent to the Macabre

Author and journalist Sarah Murray explores the astonishing variety and beauty of how humans remember and celebrate the dead. She will share stories, photos, and insights from her book Making an Exit: From the Magnificent to the Macabre–How We Dignify the Dead, which documents her journeys across the globe on a very personal quest: seeking inspiration for her own eventual send-off.

This presentation is organized by Morbid Anatomy.

8 pm
Free with RSVP
Blessing the Altar with Indigenous Music and Songs of Central America:Cetilizti Nauchampa Quetzacoalt In Ixachiltlan

A ceremonial performance and traditional blessing of the altar performed by musicians and dancers who carry on the ancient traditions of the native peoples of Central America. The group, Cetilizti Nauchampa Quetzacoalt In Ixachiltlan, was formed in 1999 and has performed at museums, universities, and theaters throughout New York City.

Additional Events in this Series

November 3
Border Crossings: This and Other Worlds

November 4
Border Crossings: This and Other Worlds

November 14
Memorial Walls as Votive Sites: Tribute, Activism and Collective Memory

December 7
Objects of Care & Resistance from the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.