A Matter of Life and Death festival tackles the final taboo

via Diane for BrumYODO

A Matter of Life and Death festival tackles the final taboo

Birmingham audiences are invited to take part in a festival of arts and cultural activities focussing on death and dying.

A Matter of Life and Death runs from 10th to 26th May, features theatre, film, art and craft activities, workshops, food, discussions and tours for adults and children.

Taking place at venues across the city, the festival is organised by BrumYODO, a diverse community collective including health professionals, undertakers, artists, hospice staff and lawyers.

The group, which has held events in Birmingham for four years and launched A Matter of Life and Death last year, uses arts and culture to encourage open and honest conversation about death and dying.

A Matter of Life and Death Festival
A Matter of Life and Death Festival

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is Death over Dinner, an evening of dining and death talk with performances and speakers. The event takes place on Saturday 12th May at Stirchley Baths and diners will be invited to gather around the table and enjoy a delicious three-course feast and intriguing conversations about death and dying.

Also on the programme is a Movie Taste-Along to cult classic Sleepy Hollow at the Electric Cinema, organised by food artist Annabel de Vetten of Conjurer’s Kitchen which will see audiences biting into delicious treats inspired by the Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp.

The festival features a day of activities on Friday 11th May at the Community Hub at Birmingham city centre’s John Lewis store. All the events at the hub, which include will-writing, funeral planning and art activities run by Birmingham Artivistas, are free of charge.

On Saturday 12th May, A Matter of Life and Death moves to the Library of Birmingham for art activities, workshops and a performance of Bootworks Theatre Company’s The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad, a family theatre show exploring bereavement. And at Ort Gallery in Balsall Heath, there is an open discussion on Death, Faith and Cancer with local health professionals and faith leaders in association with Charlotte Jarvis’ exhibition Et in Arcadia Ego.

Sleepy Hollow Movie Taste-Along
Sleepy Hollow Movie Taste-Along

On Sunday May 13th Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery hosts the free Shadow of Death Tour, which highlights artefacts associated with mortality. This is followed by a Death Café in which people are invited to come together to discuss issues around end of life and enjoy cake. There will also be a marketplace at the museum and art gallery offering people the chance to talk with experts about end of life planning.

That Sunday afternoon there is also the chance to explore hidden and public death related spaces in Birmingham as part of a newly created walking tour with Still Walking Festival.

A Matter of Life and Death is supported by Arts Council England and sponsored by Silks solicitors and STEP, the international professional advisors’ association. The festival is rounded off with the Crema-tour-ium, a behind-the-scenes visit to Redditch Crematorium and Westall Park Natural Burial Ground on 26th May.

BrumYodo has won national acclaim and two awards for community engagement for its work promoting discussion around death and dying in Birmingham.

BrumYODO chair Anna Lock said: “We feel that arts activities are a fantastic way of encouraging open and honest conversations about death and dying – subjects that society generally shies away from.

“A Matter of Life and Death will make people laugh, it will engage them in activities, it will encourage them to discuss – and it will certainly make them think.”
For full details of all the A Matter of Life and Death events and tickets see brumyodo.org.uk

This isn’t a sponsored post.