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.

Saturday, November 3

3:30–5 pm
Free with RSVP
Cremation: History and Modern Process

Amy Cunningham, death educator, leads this presentation of cremation history and its impact on present-day and future funerals. This engaging and sometimes even light-hearted exploration will also touch on how to choose an end-of-life mode of disposition that expresses your own beliefs and values. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to visit the crematory with Gema LaBoccetta, Green-Wood’s Crematory Manager.

This program is presented as part of Reimagine End of Life, a weeklong series of programs and events exploring big questions about life and death.

5–6:30 pm
Free with RSVP
Crossing Borders: Displacement and Transcendence

Join us for insights, advice, and hope from some of the nation’s most distinguished and proactive advocates for immigrants and refugees:

Dr. Robin Reineke
, anthropologist and founder of the Colibri Center, a family advocacy organization working to end migrant death and related suffering on the US-Mexico border.

Simon Robins
, a humanitarian practitioner and researcher who has consulted for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Centre for Transitional Justice. Robins has extensive experience living in and working with post-conflict societies, particularly East Timor-Leste, Uganda and Nepal.

This program is organized in collaboration with The Colibri Center for Human Rights in Tucson.

7–7:30 pm
Free with RSVP
Artist Talk

Join altar creator Adrián Viajero Román for a brief conversation about the altar and his work as both an artist and activist.

Additional Events in this Series

November 2
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.