The Festival of Death and Dying is the result of the collaboration between Victoria Spence and Peter Banki. Their aim is to question the death phobia of contemporary culture by creating new spaces where people can to think, feel and learn more about death and dying, which is to say more about life. The Festival of Death and Dying is an annual event, which first took place in Sydney in November 2016 at Critical Path in Rushcutters Bay. With considerable interest from the media and local communities, we have decided to expand the festival to Melbourne and Adelaide in 2017 and 2018, while building partnerships with similar initiatives in Australia and around the world. Learn more about the work of the festival in September 2017 in Melbourne on ABC News and in the Age and in November 2016 in Sydney in the Guardian, News.com, ABC Radio National, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.
Peter Banki, Ph.D is the co-founder and director of the Sydney Festival of Death and Dying. He is a scholar, artist, festival producer and teacher. He publishes and teaches mostly in the fields of continental philosophy from 18th Century to the present.
He holds a Ph.D in German Studies from New York University (September, 2009). His book The Forgiveness to Come: The Holocaust and the Hyper-Ethical has just come out with Fordham University Press. He is an associate member of the Philosophy Research Initiative at Western Sydney University.
Victoria Spence is co-founder, curatorial advisor and festival dramaturge. She is also a Consultant, Facilitator and Civil Celebrant. She has an extensive background in community cultural development and arts practice working across Sydney’s creative communities since 1988.
For an excellent article on her Celebrant and Ceremonial Practice, see this Dumbo Feather issue.
Sarah Roffey is the Festival's Operational Manager and Helper Coordinator. She is one of the founders of OFF THE WALL INC and also one of the founders and facilitators of Sydney’s Critical Perspectives on Madness Reading Group. She has experience facilitating therapeutic and educational groups and workshops, including on sex and madness. Sarah is interested in the intersections between the body, writing, literature, erotica, sexuality, madness and the exploration of diverse experiences.