A Festival for the Living about Dying

Before I Die: A Festival for the Living about Dying
12-18 May 2014
Various locations around the University and City of York, UK

Professor Celia Kitzinger, Festival Curator – “It gives me great pleasure to invite you to the ‘Before I Die’ Festival – a festival for the living about dying. We will include music, art, poetry, theatre, public lectures, debates, expert panels, and “death café” conversations over tea and cake.
My own interest in curating this festival grew out of my research exploring people’s experiences of having a loved one in a long-term coma and their thoughts on what makes for a ‘good death’. I have become convinced that we urgently need to talk about end-of-life issues as individuals and as a society.
The festival is sponsored by the University of York and organized as part of the ‘Dying Matters’ coalition Dying Awareness Week. It is part of a growing social movement to reflect on how we manage death and dying.”

Events include:
• An Instinct for Kindness – a solo-show telling the true story of Chris Larner’s
journey to Dignitas, the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, with his chronically ill ex-wife.
• For Their Own Good (Untied Artists) – a play which combines beautiful puppetry, new writing and documentary material to tell a moving and darkly comic tale which explores whether the way we kill animals teaches us anything about our own demise.
• Music and Poetry to Die For –Soloist Alison Wray and Chanticleer Singers, with poetry from James Nash.
• Memorials in the Minster – Tours of the Minster focusing on artefacts associated with memorial.
• Expert Panel on Advance Decisions for end-of-life planning. Convened by Celia Kitzinger – includes experts in law, medicine, ethics and more to answer your questions.
• Advance Decision Writing ‘Clinic’: One-on-one sessions on writing your own Advance Decision – information & support from people involved with the charity Compassion in Dying.
• The Sociology of Death and Dying – an afternoon of workshops and seminars with
members of the Sociology Department at the University of York.
• Dying to Live: Preparing yourself and your loved ones for death – a talk by the Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood (Chancellor of York Minster) & Rev’d Dr David Efird (Philosophy Dept, UofY) about the spirituality of dying.
• Death Café – an opportunity to discuss thoughts, attitudes and questions about death and dying in a welcoming and open environment.
• Expert Panel – Should we legalise assisted dying?
And lots more. For full details please use the following link: http://www.beforeidiefestival.co.uk

Add this to The Ideal Death Show and it’s clear to see that our British friends are well ahead of us Aussies when it comes to getting their heads around the subject of death and dying.  We have a good deal of catching up to do.

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