The Wall Between Life and Death

This seems like an appropriate photo to revive a moribund photo blog. I’ve done little in the way of processing or posting photos lately, but I have gathered some new material. Last November I visited New Orleans for a few days, and found myself visually captivated by the city; it was absolutely extraordinary. I aspire to convey some small part of that grandeur through my photography.

My first stop as I walked through the Garden District was Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, the oldest of the city-run cemeteries and the setting for many scenes in vampire novels and the like. What struck me the most as I walked through it were these wall vaults that form part of the perimeter – we’re so used to treading through graveyards unimpeded that it’s striking to see tombs stacked up in a barrier. But perhaps that’s as it should be; I liked the metaphorical symbolism of this wall of the dead, and even the grassy no-man’s-land that precedes it. As I understand it, these vaults were occasionally used to store bodies until they could be moved to a more permanent resting place, or in some cases the remains were pushed to the back of the vault (falling into a receptacle below) in order for a new occupant to be interred. So it seems these vaults were often a transitory place even for the deceased, which befits their status as the boundary in this graveyard between the city of the living and the city of the dead.


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