Latvia — Where the Dead Do Business
Latvia has the fourth highest suicide rate on the planet. In one of my cynical moods, I once suggested that Daugavpils market itself as "Suicide Capital of the World"... the rate in Latgola has been far higher than the rate in the country as a whole, and Daugavpils was suicide central during the transition from Soviet gloom to laissez-faire. The rate has been coming down, though (whether the decline is due to previous proficiency with razors, rope, or Russian gas, spectacular economic growth, or the exodus of potential suicides to the Emerald Isle is perhaps debatable), and Daugavpils has since been rebranding itself as the birthplace of Mark Rothko (a suicide).
If despair is rampant in this depressed region -- employment opportunities are apparently plentiful in the afterlife. Dienas Bizness reports that the number of dead people registered as the owners and executives of Latvian firms has risen by 1789 deceased persons in the last two and a half months. Money laundering and fraud seem to be the most lucrative fields to get into once beyond the grave...
Geneviève Vidal-de Guillebon's fine text, Mark Rothko -- The Artist of the Red Night is available online in French and English. Flickr has an interesting group called ROTHKOesque.
The photograph was taken last autumn in the old Jewish cemetery in Subate.