Portraits | Dia De Los Muertos

John GalaydaJohn GalaydaCarlos Martinez.

Beatriz Gil, a writer, and Carlos Martinez, a photographer, teamed up this year to offer the Calaveritas Poetry Workshop at the eighth annual Mano a Mano Day of the Dead Festival Sunday at St. Mark’s Church In-The-Bowery, at 10th Street and Second Avenue.

Participants lined up at kiosks to write poems about deceased family members (an old-fashioned typewriter was available to those who sought an authentic experience), before entering Mr. Martinez’s “Photo Booth Without Borders” to read their poems and pose for a portrait. The photo booth is an ongoing project that Mr. Martinez started as a resident artist with the Laundromat Project.

Through this initiative community members receive a free instant photograph in exchange for their personal story, according to Ms. Gil.

Celebrated on Nov. 2, Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is one of Mexico’s most important holidays, where families invite the souls of their dead ancestors to their home for a visit. This year, in order to commemorate the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence and centennial of its Revolution, festival attendees dressed as figures from Mexican history.—Deanna Yurchuk

John GalaydaJohn GalaydaBeatriz Gil.

“Today I am dressed as an Adelita,” Ms. Gil said. “Adelitas were women who took rifles and fought with the men to win the Revolution.”

John GalaydaJohn GalaydaA participant’s poem.

This participant’s poem translates as: “When death comes, do not let it catch you. Run far, far away. Her black eyes can put a spell on you. Don’t look at them. She is very cold and wants to take you. I want you at home and not as her lover.”