In July 2020 Joanna Ebenstein will be offering an 8-hour online course in the history, mystery and art of the memento mori: Death is the great mystery of human life. Each of us – barring some medical miracle – will die. Foreknowledge of our own death is a defining characteristic of humanity; the ancient Greeks … Read moreMake Your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination with Morbid Anatomy Founder Joanna Ebenstein
Morbid Curiosity is a Trivial Pursuit-style party game designed to encourage engaging conversations about death. According to co-creator Kimberley Mead: It all started with a group of children. Strange for a game about death, but, it did. I was working at a grief center, facilitating a children’s group. I was struck with the remarkable difference … Read moreMorbid Curiosity: A Wickedly Fun Party Game About Death
The 2016 TV series Houdini and Doyle teamed these two very famous figures, together with pioneering female police constable Adelaide Stratton, in investigating apparently supernatural mysteries in early Edwardian London. Obviously, the series was a work of fiction inspired by some historically real characters and situations, with a lot of creative license applied. For example, whereas the real Harry … Read moreDid Houdini and Doyle Really Investigate Supernatural Mysteries?
This charming “docu-musical” tells the true story of the Kiwi Coffin Club, a senior social group in Rotorua, New Zealand who hand-make and decorate their own coffins.
by Tony Wolf (originally published via the Atlas Obscura on October 9, 2017) After my father died in mid-2016, the family was faced with a daunting question: “What to do with the collection?” Dad had been acquiring and restoring all manner of curious antiques since the 1960s. His vast collection filled “the studio”—a huge, barn-like building … Read moreDiscovering a Vintage “Spook Show” in my Dad’s Antique Collection
A humanist perspective on this age-old question, read by the inestimable Stephen Fry.
Here’s an excellent longform article by Jon Mooallem on an ambitious project seeking to redesign our responses to death: So much about death is agonizingly unknowable: When. Where. Lymphoma or lightning strike. But Bennett recognized there are still dimensions of the experience under our control. He started zeroing in on all the unspoken decisions around … Read moreDeath, Redesigned
Picture a gently glowing city of the dead suspended beneath the Manhattan Bridge … It’s a bold and beautiful vision, conjured by Columbia University’s DeathLab project which aims to find creative solutions to a very practical problem. Traditional cemeteries are running out of space; what will we do with our dead?
A short 2014 documentary on the history of (and modern practice of creative memorial at) London’s once-forgotten Cross Bones Graveyard. Since the time this video was produced, there have been considerable developments in connection with Cross Bones. Check out the Friends of Cross Bones website for much, much more on this poignant and inspiring story.
The song that says it all … Here are the lyrics, in case you want to sing along: When I die I don’t want to rest in peaceI want to dance in joyI want to dance in the graveyardsThe graveyardsAnd while I’m alive,I don’t want to be aloneMourning the ones who came beforeI want to … Read moreDance in the Graveyards by Delta Rae