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Dying to talk? Bradford event explores taboo subject


Tea light candles in a dark room

Death, along with taxes, is the only certainty in life, as the saying goes, and the latest event ‘Dying to Talk’ in the Being Human festival aims to explore this inevitable, yet taboo subject in interactive workshops in Bradford. Using archaeology and psychology, the workshops, led by the University of Bradford, will take you on a journey through time and challenge what you think about death.

The workshops will take place on Wednesday 16 November at Bread+Roses from 17:30 to 19:00 and Friday 18 November at Speakers Corner from 12:30 to 14:00. In these interactive workshops visitors will get the chance to investigate the past using archaeological artefacts from different time periods, discover how death and funerals are treated across the world, and discuss how death is represented today, for example by the media's treatment of celebrity deaths and the role of social media in remembrance. In addition, visitors will be able to get creative in the 'death café'.

Dying to talk poster

 The workshops are being led by Dr Karina Croucher and Dr Eleanor Bryant from the University of Bradford. Eleanor said: “I am excited to be leading this event, as we explore issues around celebrating life and honouring the dead using both archaeology and psychology. 

 "The event may sound deadly morbid, but it is far from that - the issues raised and discussed often really surprise people and help them to reflect on their own experiences and beliefs around life and death. Although the topic of death is seen as quite taboo, actually exploring how death and dying has been treated over time, throughout the world and through the media is eye opening and normalises the variety of ways we can feel about life and death. 

"Death can often be a celebration of life, and looking at this in a safe, comfortable setting can be uplifting and informative.”

 All are welcome to each event, with 14 to 20-year-olds especially encouraged to attend the Wednesday event, and those aged 50 to 80 particularly welcomed at the Friday session. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

 Being Human, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, runs from 10 to 19 November - Bradford is acting as a festival hub that will focus on the BBC centenary.