- Parent Category: Blog
- Published: 14 October 2014
Which London cemetery is rumoured to host a time machine? How would your body be disposed of if you were to perish in a mass fatality? Where can you visit a collection of 35,000 skeletons of deceased Londoners? What will happen to your Facebook account after you die?
Event curators Antique Beat and A Curious Invitation have programmed a London Month of the Dead to answer these and many other intriguing questions about the past, present and future of death in the metropolis.
Throughout October 2014 and concluding on All Souls Day, a series of talks and workshops will take place investigating the capital’s relationship with its late residents. You can meet an undertaker or the world’s foremost expert on near death experiences; visit the Museum of London’s bone archive or take part in a séance; learn about the history of dissection or try your own hand at it in a taxidermy workshop. A series of Sunday salons in the cemetery will centre around themes of London’s macabre heritage with talks on forgotten burial grounds, embalming techniques, the paranormal and immortality.
DeadSocial are delighted to be involved with London Month of the Dead.
The World without us - The future, fatality and Facebook A salon in the cemetery with Dr John Troyer and James Norris will take place on Sunday 26th October from 1 to 3 pm
The choices for death are increasing. DR JOHN TROYER of Bath University's Centre for Death and Society gives a glimpse into new and coming technologies of 'disposal' including green burial, freeze drying, sonic boom dispersion and holographic graveyards. He poses the question “What do you want done with your body when you die?’ and provides some possible answers with thoughts on Future Death, Future Dead Bodies, and Future Cemeteries with some surprising facts for Londoners. What will happen to our online life when we’re gone? Is a social media presence possible in the hereafter?
JAMES NORRIS, the founder of DeadSocial, will pose the question 'Have you made plans for both your digital and physical possessions? DeadSocial provide a free end of life 'digital legacy tool' enabling living Londoners to creatively cross into their real 'Second Life'. James will investigate the ways in which digital and social media are changing the ways we remember and mourn. Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin Cocktail
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Dr. John Troyer is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. His interdisciplinary research focuses on contemporary memorialisation practices, concepts of spatial historiography, and the dead body’s relationship with technology. Dr. Troyer is also a theatre director and installation artist with extensive experience in site-specific performance across the United States and Europe.
James Norris is a lecturer and mentor on Digital & Social Media at University College London, and founder of DeadSocial. DeadSocial is a tool that allows anyone to create scheduled messages. These are distributed across their social networks after we pass away. This allows for final goodbyes to be told whilst enabling us continue to communicate once we have gone.
ABOUT THE OTHER AMAZING EVENTS & WHERE THEY ARE BEING HELD
All the events will be hosted at the chapels in two of the capital’s great gardens of sleep, Brompton and Kensal Green. Both are part of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, the glorious septet of Victorian cemeteries that became showcases for neo-classical and new-Gothic architecture within six miles of St Paul’s Cathedral.
A diagram of Brompton Cemetery's domed Chapel where some of the events will be taking place
To evoke the spirits of the living as we listen to talks on death, Hendrick’s Gin have devised seven bespoke cocktails, one in honour of each cemetery in London’s Magnificent Seven and each guest will be served a complimentary cocktail of their choice.
Sadly the capital’s historic burial grounds are suffering from neglect and our talks and workshops will run in conjunction with a fund-raising appeal for the restoration of Brompton Cemetery, the 39 acre Grade 1 listed West London burial ground managed by Royal Parks. Twenty percent of all ticket sales will be donated to the conservation of this important site. The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged a match funding campaign, meaning all donations will automatically be doubled in value and, once a total of £500,000 is reached, a further £3.7m conservation fund will be unlocked.
The London Month of the Dead has been curated by a Curious Invitation and Antique Beat to inform, entertain and provoke on the subject of death and London cemeteries whilst leaving you feeling more alive than ever. The full schedule of events can be found here: http://www.londonmonthofthedead.com