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Kate Hargreaves - 10 Jul 2020
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We believe it's important to talk about death. It's the one certainty about life that we all share.

We believe that we can learn from one another how to cope with it, experience it, prepare for it and communicate about it.

Where the project will lead we're not yet sure but the plan is to approach it with a series of conversations and creative collaborations to gather an oral history archive of sorts, to gather as many and as varied a collection of first person experience, to explore where we are societally with dealing with death, discussing dying and integrating the process and the experience of grief into our lives- and with hope learning from other peoples’ widely differing experiences and practices.

We're in good company, its inspiring to see how many people are willing to talk about it too. 

We've had a COLD call with Jools and Susan from the incredible Death Cafe movement and are continuing to talk and edit conversations with a view to creating a 20 minute film of thoughts and voices at the (unspecified ) end of this first phase of the project.

This Death and Dying project is a thing I’ve returned to many times over the course of about 20 years - beginning with involvement in the amazing work of  Jo Dagless who founded 1157performance group ( theatre co- now sadly gone but not forgotten)

We're really proud to be collaborating with each other again on this project along with filmmaker Sybil Ah- Mane, and Flexible Films.

Jo and I have never met Sybil in person- its all quite awe inspiring to consider the depths of conversation we've had about this sometimes thorny subject matter with someone we've never shared space with.

 Sybil made a thing called  @magicvideobox- an amazing contraption that allows them to film interviews with people in a way that makes it feel that the interviewee is looking at their interviewer but is in fact looking directly into camera- we met remotely through a shared contact and through a mutual appreciation of the `Death Cafe movement with whom she envisioned beginning work with the magic video box…

but then… well then everything went weirder and people have been dying with no hand to hold or burying their loved ones without being able to attend the funerals and all the other strangeness we are in the midst of and so we’ve started to reexamine the subject. As so many of us have been vocalising, perhaps this shitstorm has thrown up the opportunity to hasten necessary system change in all aspects of our lives.

I'd really love to hear from anyone who feels like they may like to talk- we have some broad questions if you feel you'd like a framework but the conversations are essentially just that- conversations. So, no rules apply. we generally ask for an hour of your time across a video conferencing platform then with your permission, and only with your permission we may use some of the recording in the films we are making as part of this ongoing cross cultural creative conversation about death and dying.

 

Please do email me if this appeals to you or resonates with you in any way.

The wonderful greeners will contribute a song which I cant wait to share, in the meantime here's the poem and film we kickstarted the project with.

 

  • #meaningfulconversations.and #conversationsonlifeanddeath and #letstalkaboutdeath

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