The festival seeks to provide opportunities to learn practical things we all need to know about death and dying as well as providing more embodied, philosophical and artistic approaches to the subject, which do justice to the full spectrum of what is at stake in our shared finite being with others. As implied in the idea of a festival, one of our guiding questions will be to explore how to celebrate and be joyful in this life without denying all that is painful, difficult, even inconsolable.
We wish to make more appealing what many of us are very frightened to think and learn about. Not just by creating spaces where people can have conversations about death and dying, which of course are extremely important, but also by exploring other kinds of communication, such as touch, breath, music, movement, art and performance. We want to bring together people who deal with death directly (such as palliative care practitioners, religious leaders and celebrants) and those who do it less directly (such as artists, philosophers, performers and body-mind practitioners) with the help and participation of the wider community.
When they arrive in our lives death and dying have a marvellous way of reminding us of what we hold to be truly important. From this point of view they have a force, which we can’t access if we simply drive them from our minds.
The Festival of Death and Dying will be the first festival of its kind in Australia.
Come and join us!
Peter Banki 2016