|Tania Gonzales-Ortega, Calavera|
at Confluence Gallery & Art Center
Confluence will be hosting "Conversations About Death" an open discussion forum to coincide with its current exhibit The Big Sleep: Conversations on Finality.
This public event will be held at the Confluence Gallery & Art Center on Wednesday Oct 29th from 5pm - 8pm. Coffee, Tea and goodies will be available. This is a free event open to everyone.
Our modern society has been reluctant to discuss this topic that will affect all of us at one time or another. Yet popular culture tends to portray death on film and television as fearful, tragic, grizzly, often violent -which has not helped to dispel our own fears about the subject itself.
The format of "Conversations About Death" will be simple and similar to a death cafe. People come together to talk about all things death and dying related. However, it is not intended to offer bereavement or grieving support. It is non-denominational. There is no agenda. Nobody selling anything. Just open frank conversation. That is what the co-curators Joanne Marracci and Vern White have attempted to do with The Big Sleep exhibit at the Confluence. "Starting the discussion about death can be the hardest part. We felt that showing various artists' interpretations of death will help others allow themselves to discover their own feelings, questions, and needs regarding death and dying," says Joanne.
On hand at the event will be experts in the field of Death and Dying. Heidi Ruth Dittrich, PhD, a Death Midwife and retired UW professor has hosted Death Cafes in Bellingham WA and Kelly Edwards, PhD, a professor of Bioethics and Humanities at UW School of Medicine will be attending to facilitate discussions and answer questions. A list of possible topics will be available at the event to help stimulate conversations. Joanne notes, "I had never heard of a Death Midwife until I started my research for The Big Sleep. There must be others like me who have loved ones dealing with death and are unaware of all the resources and services available. We are not alone. We don't live in a vacuum. That's why I felt compelled to have this event. I think it's important to connect with others who may have similar situations and questions. It's about time we started the conversation."