When these dates approach the networks burn with all kinds of hashtags related to Halloween: parties, monstrous costumes, terrifying makeup, all kinds of bugs, bats, sweets with repulsive appearance etc. We, this year [hemos decidido olvidarnos un poco de Halloween](https://empresas.blogthinkbig.com/dia-de-muertos-calaveritas-e-inteligencia-artificial/) and stay in a cultural environment that is much closer to us.
All Saints and Day of the Dead
The sober and familiar character that they have in Spain on November 1, feast of All Saints, and the 2, Day of the Dead, can make the colorful Halloween display much more attractive. However, our great cultural diversity also gives rise to some exceptions, such as bonfires, music and dances of the “Night of the deceased” in the Canary Islands, or the Castañadas of Catalonia. And, of course, the locks covered with porridge to scare away the evil spirits of Begíjar (Jaén), or the Tosantos carnival (of course, Cádiz).
The day of the Dead
However, despite also suffering the “tough competition” that entails Halloween, it is the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Mexico recognized by UNESCO as part of the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Day of the Dead is a transitory return of the souls of the deceased to the world of the living. They return home with their relatives and enjoy the offerings left on the altars, prepared with papel picado, fruits (tangerines, tejocotes and canes), sweets (pan de muerto, sugar skulls or chocolate), candles and flowers, many orange flowers.
To sweets and altars, another well-known element is added beyond the borders of Mexico: la Catrina. At first, it was nothing more than a burlesque drawing by the engraver José Guadalupe Posada, famous for his caricatures of social criticism of the upper classes and the misery that was lived in the country. In them, rich and townspeople were depicted as pure skeletons dressed in fancy clothes at parties or folk dances. The “Calavera Garbancera” became” the Catrina ” that we know when the painter Diego Ribera represented it in one of his murals with the iconic feather hat worn by elegant men (catrines).
Thus, la Catrina became one of the most representative elements of the Day of the Dead, when countless people dress up and make up imitating this character.
What, however, is not so well known outside of Mexico are the literary skulls or calaveritas. The skulls are popular literary compositions that are usually dedicated to family, friends or coworkers. They are usually composed of four stanzas of four eight-syllable verses, the most common metric in popular poetry. And they usually use assonant rhyme, key to give them rhythm and expressiveness. Although the format can be more or less free, as long as the primordial thing is not lacking: irony. The protagonist is a character who tries to deceive Death. When she seems to have gotten away with it, the Bony appears unexpectedly and her death is inevitable.
The skulls they are humorous compositions, yes, but it is a cruel humorwhich is nothing but a way of softening the terror caused by the certainty that, sooner or later, we will all have to die.
The on the eve of the Day of the Dead, many magazines and local newspapers in Mexico publish their own literary skulls and make fun of politicians, celebrities and failed government projects. Children create their own skulls as homework. In social networks, many users share mocking epitaphs about their teachers or classmates. Even, skulls competitions are called.
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We want to make a print and online publication of skulls, girls, boys and teens, take pen and paper!
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org#FeriaCalacas # XIXFeriaCalacas pic.twitter.com/HFMO36wbk4
– Wings and Roots (@AlasyRaices) September 25, 2019
Skulls and Artificial Intelligence?
And having already artificial intelligence algorithms that write novels and poems. We asked ourselves: could you write Skulls?What would machine-written poetry sound like?
Although we can find literary magazines created by machines -as CuratedAI – it will be very difficult for an algorithm to be able to condense the irony, affection,** or the surprising twists end we delight the creators of these epitaphs burlesque with that conjure our inevitable fear of Death*.
The best use of Artificial Intelligence is the one we make when we are aware not only of its potential, but also of its limitations.