Death is a universal experience for humanity. We are all affected by the end of the existence of other humans around us. They may be directly involved in our lives or may have heavily influenced our existence. Humans often find themselves yearning for a way to remember the existence of those who have died. The rituals and reactions to death vary greatly depending on not only on your cultural history, but also the familial upbringing will have a strong influence on an individual’s practices as well.
For me, I watched my family react differently to each person that had passed whether it was a family member, friend or acquaintance. We buried some, cremated others, and some we just went to a memorial service. These are all acts of Memorialism. I rarely revisited memorials of those close to me. I would only revisit the memorials if I was returning to a cemetery to mourn yet another loss. This made me interested in how everyone reacts to death. I have done various studies into the rituals of death, but mostly I am showing the reactions to death in a direct way through mostly physical memorials.
Ghost Bikes are a specific type of memorial with the purpose of bringing awareness to cyclists on the roadways. Automobiles often share the road with bicycles, and unfortunately, many cyclists succumb to death due to a driver’s lack of awareness of cyclists, badly maintained roads, and an overall lack of protection for cyclists. In some areas like Albuquerque, Ghost Bikes are considered descansos (roadside memorials), and are considered permanent. In other areas like New York City, bikes are often removed after a few weeks. This series of images was made to honor the lives lost and reiterate the importance of driving safely alongside cyclists while preventing their injuries including death.