Here is Allison Elizabeth Solso’s 2015 dissertation on the theme of “vernacular memorials”; the often-temporary shrines constructed by bereaved families and friends at the sites of often-violent deaths. An excerpt: My relationship to these spaces was always confused, even as I did my best to maintain respect and some modicum of decorum. The need to … Read more“Beyond Memento Mori: Understanding American Religions Through Roadside Shrines”
James Pallister’s 2018 article for the UK Design Council offers an overview of how modern designers are reimagining and reinventing the experience of death: We’ve had a 50-year experiment with medicalising mortality, with casting it as just another problem for us to treat like any other, and I think that experiment is failing. But we … Read more“Reinventing Death for the Twenty-First Century”
Artist Jim McKenzie’s process in sculpting Friends with Death is documented here via stop-motion animation. Reimagining the Reaper is important work as we move towards a more thanatopositive cultural outlook. In McKenzie’s vision, eternal Death pauses for a moment, entranced by the transient beauty of life in the form of a turquoise-winged butterfly. If you’d … Read moreJim McKenzie’s “Friends with Death”
A selection of videos on the subject of death from philosopher Alain de Botton’s massive School of Life project – “an organisation built to help us find calm, self-understanding, resilience and connection – especially during troubled times.”
Palliative care expert Dr. BJ Miller discusses the pragmatic, philosophical, ethical and spiritual approaches to end-of-life practice developed at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco.
By Tony Wolf The evocative yin-yang juxtaposition of flowers and skulls has a curious artistic history encompassing Catholic reliquary, 17th century Dutch vanitas painting, Mexican folk-art, Edwardian art nouveau and ’60s psychedelia. In combination, they offer a startling and provocative alternative to the black-cloaked, scythe-wielding figure of the Grim Reaper, whose imagery is inextricably tied … Read moreThe Skull and the Flower
The Adventures of Memento Mori is host D.S. Moss’s ongoing podcast exploration of what death means, why that matters and what we can do about it while we’re still alive. With a thoroughly and refreshingly skeptical take on all matters woo, Moss has examined life- and death-affirming topics including spiritualism, creating death plans, diverse concepts … Read more“The Adventures of Memento Mori”
The Stoic perspective on life and death from YouTuber Tino Bacela, who “reads a lot of non-fiction and watches a lot of stand-up”.
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.
A humanist perspective on this age-old question, read by the inestimable Stephen Fry.