In her essay for lithub.com, Ara A. Francis contemplates the prescience of Lyn Loflin’s 1978 book The Craft of Dying, which catalogs the then-nascent “Happy Death Movement”: Lyn’s analysis of death activism read as though it could have been written yesterday, and I wondered how that could be. In light of the happy death movement’s ostensible … Read moreAn App to Remind You You’re Going to Die? On Death Positivity
My new essay is now available via the Morbid Anatomy Online Journal. The essay explores how and why the personification of Death has been re-imagined in recent decades, and how that reflects deep cultural shifts regarding the concept of mortality: At a cultural moment when the traditional imagery of the Grim Reaper had largely given … Read more“The Changing Face of Death: A Countercultural Perspective”
This festival will run throughout the haunted month of October and features a wide range of both live and virtual events, including: THE VAMPIROLOGY OF COVID-19 – The Folklore of Contagion THE MYSTERIES OF THE MAUSOLEA BEAUTIFUL DEATH – Art and the Mystery of Mortality “I HAVE SEEN INTO THE GRAVE” – String Quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich For … Read moreLondon Month of the Dead
I was delighted to stumble across this ritual firefly procession in honor of the Twilight King during my evening walk last night. The event was arranged and performed by a troupe called The Art of Spontaneous Spectacle, which has been organized by local actors and directors unable to ply their craft in orthodox venues due … Read moreThe Art of Spontaneous Spectacle
This massive touring festival event has been a sell-out smash in the UK for several years, though of course it’s currently on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Festival of the Dead offers a cross-cultural mash-up of secular Dia de Muertos-inspired aesthetics with new circus/new burlesque performance styles; not what you’d call “deep” in comparison with … Read moreFestival of the Dead in the UK
Here’s a gallery of atmospheric video memoirs from the Atlas Obscura’s semi-annual Into The Veil events, which have been staged at the arts-friendly Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NYC and also at Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery.
Kimberly C. Paul’s Death By Design podcast showcases interviews with deathcare specialists, artists, authors and others working in the end-of-life sphere: REMEMBER, YOU’RE THE DESIGNER. We must become the designer of our own destination. We must learn how to build the pathways to our last chapter by creating the blueprints that reflect our individual lives … Read more“Death by Design” Podcast
By Tony Wolf I recently took part in the month-long online course Make Your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination, which was organized and taught by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein. This course combines extensive and fascinating weekly readings and viewings, lectures, discussions, art and writing prompts and so-on, towards a “final project” of each … Read moreThe Flowerskull Mask: A Thanatopositive Art Project
Social philosopher Alain De Botton’s essential argument is stated in his final line – “Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be left to the religious alone”. The first two-thirds of “Religion for Atheists” demonstrate the strength of that position via examples drawn from many spheres, persuading the reader how – having been, … Read more“Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion”
There was a wind blowing through the zeitgeist of the 1970s, here elegized in the classic folk-rock ballad by Kansas.