This image is part of the ‘Ojos’ bi-weekly series. Ojos is a photoletter that tributes people, their merits, the environment and connects our human experience to community with the use of a camera—here in the Bay Area.
Nicole Jajeh-Garcia looks through the camera lens with sage smoke drifting from her altar during San Francisco’s Día de Muertos in the Mission District. Jajeh-Garcia wore earrings of the Palestinian map and wore the Keffiyeh headdress — an iconic scarf that has long been a symbol of Palestinian resistance. Día de Muertos is the Mexican holiday where people honor those that have transitioned, and the streets are decorated with marigolds, creative altars, sweet bread and other goods. This year, community members of Palestinian heritage have taken part in creating altars to commemorate the Palestinians that have been killed in Gaza during Israel’s latest war on Palestine. “I’m actually feeling grateful for today and making my altar is a bit of healing from these past weeks — and feelings building up,” Jajeh-Garcia said from 24th and Harrison Streets. “This [making an altar] is my artistic way to let it be known and to share the beauty of my culture.” Jajeh-Garcia is a Palestinian-American who also runs Asúkar, a pop-up food-stand of Palestinian-Cuban fusion cuisine, inspired by herself and her husband who is Cuban.