Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) follows the path Jesus took in Jerusalem to be crucified. In Mexico, as in all other Christian based societies, Good Friday is a day of organized penitence and mourning for Christ’s death but a very different tradition has emerged in Carrillo Puerto, an isolated village in the mountains of Chiapas in southern Mexico. What has evolved is an irreverent, chaotic, and carnivalesque celebration of the absurd.
Drawing on an unholy mix of religious beliefs, local and popular culture, pagan traditions, and personal mythologies, participants wear homemade costumes that are theatrical and transformative, verging on pure abstraction with an underlying tone of violence.
Vía Cruxis is told through the voices of the participants and organizers of the festival who dress and perform as Jesus, “the King”, “the Bishop", “the Centurions”, and “the Judios”. These characters become an alternate pantheon of strange deities and demons, existing in opposition to the highly codified characters and narratives of the eternal spiritual conflict represented in Catholicism.