Mors Mortis Museum is proud to feature Laura Anderson Barbata who will contribute to the Politics and the Dead section of the upcoming Routledge handbook: Museums, Heritage, and Death with her work titled: Julia Pastrana’s Long Journey Home
Barbata is a native of Mexico and since her infancy has honored and participated in the annual traditions for Day of the Dead in Mexico. She became interested in lobbying for the dignified treatment of deceased bodies after learning about Julia Pastrana from her sister, Kathleen Culebro, and dove deeper into Pastrana’s life and the treatment of her body after her death.
On April 16th, 2012, Barbata had an audience with the Governor of Sinaloa to petition for the repatriation of Julia Pastrana to her native state. Barbata eventually succeeded in the repatriation and burial of Julia Pastrana’s body to Mexico, and created an international non-profit campaign called “A Flower for Julia.” This symbolically welcomed and gave closure to Julia Pastrana’s long journey home on the day of her burial in Sinaloa, Mexico. You can read more about her involvement on her website: www.lauraandersonbarbata.com or in her book The Eye of the Beholder: Julia Pastrana´s Long Journey Home.
The most meaningful moment Barbata had while working on this project was the overwhelming response of the people of Sinaloa de Leyva the day of Julia Pastrana’s burial in her homeland of Mexico.
You can check out more about artist Laura Anderson Barbata under her social media handle, mx-lab, and her new book, The Eye of the Beholder: Julia Pastrana´s Long Journey Home.
By Jesse Morgan, a Communication and Photography Student at Coastal Carolina University, USA.