As one of the most dangerous cities in America and the most violent in California, I found Oakland’s culture of memorializing death aberrant and worth observing. On average a life is taken in the streets here every few days after which friends, family, and neighbors will erect a shrine over the area of sidewalk where the person was murdered. These are roadside tombstones yet contrarily ephemeral in nature and are usually gone within 10 days.
White Wax is Oakland-based photographer Brandon Tauszik’s ongoing project featuring images of Oakland’s murder shrines. He has set a goal to photograph these shrines for the entire year of 2013, during which he says approximately 130 people will lose their lives via homicide. The shrines Tauszik has documented thus far have all been for gun related deaths.