"The Ultimate Equalizer, The Grim Reaper, The Blessed Release. One thing is certain - we all have death in common and this January we defy taboos and take a look at this unknowable certainty from many angles."
Through a multitude of performances, workshops, installations, and talking with everyone from philosophers to funeral workers, This festival examines our attitudes towards death and why we are so reticent to talk about it. The festival runs from January 27th through the 29th at the Southbank Centre in London.
Here are just a few of the many events and exhibitions featured in the festival:
'Boxed: Fabulous Coffins from UK and Ghana' collects bizarre bespoke coffins from the famous Paa Joe workshop in Ghana, and Crazy Coffins in Nottingham.
Before I die....What's the one thing you'll do before you die? This free event allows attendees to share their new year's resolutions, pledges and life-long dreams and on a giant chalkboard as part of an ongoing international participatory project by artist Candy Chang.
An Instinct for Kindness: In November 2010, Chris Larner accompanied his chronically ill ex-wife to Switzerland's Dignitas clinic. He came home with an empty wheelchair and a story to tell. This moving, bittersweet show reflects on the circumstances, morality and humanity surrounding the journey. In a candid, poignant and sometimes comic performance, Chris explores both the profound personal implications and the wider ethical considerations of the contentious issue of assisted dying.
From Blue to Joy- The New Orleans Funeral: Drawing influence from New Orleans funeral parades, the Mexican Day of the Dead and other rituals, over 100 young people from Kids Company process across the site with a specially decorated coffin, accompanied by Abram Wilson and band, culminating at The Clore Ballroom at 5pm with a speech and a party.
The National Death Centre Salon: The Natural Death Centre run salons on subjects as diverse as funeral pyres and funeral choices in the 21st century, to the advantages of green burial. The charity was founded 20 years ago to inform and empower the public in all death related issues, a taboo area steeped in myth and misconception.
For more information about this very interesting festival, visit the Southbank Centre site