Ofrendas to a Dying Planet

In October of 2019, Ofrendas for a Dying Planet was implemented in conjunction with a día de los muertos altar created by artist Rosalba Solis as a public art project for the HONK! music festival. After attendees experienced Solis’ altar for the planet, which depicted forest fires, garbage dumps, and climate devastation, I asked them to react to what they saw in writing. Attendees became participants in the creation of the altar by pinning their own ofrenda to its many layers. Each ofrenda begins with either a reflective phrase (‘I will miss…’ and ‘I remember when…’) or future-facing phrase (‘I hope…’ and ‘I will save…’) in one of the four most common languages in the Boston area. These prompts acknowledge the losses already experienced in our environment, allowing for grief and mourning, while also encouraging hope and positive future thinking.