Santiago Vidal is a freelance photographer based in Valencia, Spain. At the present time he is trying to learn more on telling good stories. He documents news, festivals, and works on personal projects. He has achieved publishing in the New...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Designer, Editor, Entertainment, Travel, Sports, Architecture, Documentary, News, Creative, Photography, Art Director, Life Style, Culture
Skills:Sports, Graphic Design, Color Correction, Adobe Photoshop, Photo Editing, Mixed Media, Web Design, Editorial Design, Branding, Art Direction, Multimedia Production, Photojournalism, Product Design, Film Processing, Film Photography
Altagracia is a photographic essay about the cultural and religious identity of a part of America. The project aims at the particular devotion that the inhabitants of La Hispaniola island -shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti- have for La Virgen de la Altagracia. The Altagracia Day is surely one of the oldest traditions still celebrated in America since Columbus. Brought by the Spaniards, this celebration is nowadays an american cultural heritage, product of very old traditions both from european colonialism and african roots.
The religious icon was brought to the island by two spaniards, in one of Christopher Columbus last trips to the new world. It soon started to be worshiped by the catholic community, who were, as crusaders, imposing by force the catholic cult and saints to the lower class made of native workers and African slaves. The slave community started using the icon of La Virgen for their own cult, to their own African gods, transposing the attributes of the catholic icons to their gods.
At this present time, La Virgen de la Altagracia is worshipped largely by the three main religions in the island: catholicism, Santería and the Vodou, both in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She is also considered “Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans”, and the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. The feast day of January 21st is a national holiday in the Dominican Republic, and is marked by Mass, festivities, celebrations, and a major pilgrimage from every corner of the island to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in the city of Higuey, to the east of the Dominican territory.