Diversifying Death - Shaping Perceptions for the 21st Century

by Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

The death of someone close changes us - making us reflect on the meaning of our own lives.

This meaning is entwined with culture, religion, belief and legacy but is also framed by legal and ethical structures that help guide us as a community to consider what to do when someone dies.

Death and dying can be difficult to discuss, which may impede end-of-life equality and social progress; leaving many people disempowered. Conversations about death often also occur at crisis points when people lack the emotional capacity to reflect on the choices they are making.

But what does it mean to die in the 21st Century? How can design, technology and religious practices popularised in the 20th Century, help us to speculate on how new technologies and experiences will shift the boundaries of mortality? In the future, will death rituals be further embodied or disembodied? How do new forms of spirituality impact our relationship between our bodies and ritual practices, where new generations use digitaliity as a way of talking to the dead? And what will become of the things we have owned and treasured? Will they continue to tell our stories for generations to come?

Following the success of our panel on Designing Death: Challenges and Aesthetics for the 21st Century in 2017, we are delighted to delve deeper into the the role of diversity and belief in death and dying. This conversation pushes us to consider the creativity of belief alongside the complexity of ethics online that constructs new forms of public engagement, expanding the meaning and social consciousness of death and dying.

Joining us are four exciting speakers, who will approach this topic from a range of disciplines and practises including: psychology and privacy online; physical and digital crafting as ongoingness; death policies and belief in hospices; and compassionate care within the funeral industry.

Date: Wed, 27 February 2019
Time: 19:30 – 21:00pm
Location: University of Greenwich, Stockwell Street
10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich
London, SE10 9BD

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