Todos Locos

Kaitlin Jencso

Barely awake and on unsure footing after a day of fever and nausea, I found myself awaiting the Dia de los Locos parade in the intense overhead sun. Having heard of its theatrics and intensity I was worried about having enough strength to stay up right and shooting. Sitting in the Jardin at 11:30 I could hear the heart beat of the parade from the distance, the over amplified bass of generic music that blasts from each parade float.

Meeting up with Muriel and Susan, Lindsay and I made our way to meet the parade head on.  Being in the parade route but walking against its flow was both exciting as well as exhausting. I was impressed by the energy levels of those in full costume who had already been dancing for hours.  Their energy only over shadowed by the screaming hoards of children shouting “Dulces!” while candy was pelted at them and rained into their upturned umbrellas.

I was surprised by the costumes, but not because of their inventiveness, although some definitely were. The majority seemed to be Disney based and not from their own rich Mexican heritage. I had expected to see a lot of indigenous based outfits instead of what felt like Halloween costumes. I suppose that was my own American gaze expecting the Mexican people to be frozen in time.

It was hard to find a moment to reflect on what was actually occurring instead of just reacting to whatever was happening, which is very counter intuitive to my usual photographic process. I don’t know if it was the energy, the sun baking my brain, the candy bouncing off my hands, or the multiple dances with men dressed as mice, but I decided to embrace this spontaneity and just shoot whatever I responded to at that exact moment.

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