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Tickets for the Afterlife

An action research project and cross-country collaboration exploring the concept of libraries as death positive spaces and their collections of books as creative resources that push us to consider our own mortality.

Tickets for the Afterlife is an action research project and cross-country collaboration between Redbridge, Kirklees and Newcastle Libraries and the research team from Northumbria University (Dr Stacey Pitsillides in Design and Dr Claire Nally in English Literature). Particularly urgent in the climate of COVID-19, Tickets for the Afterlife treats death and dying as a health and societal issue but expands this creatively to engage wider publics. It explores the concept of libraries as death positive spaces and their collections of books as creative resources that push us to consider our own mortality. By positioning artistic interventions in libraries the relationship between technology, creativity and death is questioned. In exploring libraries as Death Positive spaces, our online literary provision has answered a real need in the community to explore the implications of the pandemic with sensitivity and safety, and has enabled an audience across the world to access and participate in discussions with writers and academics. Whilst introducing the public to end of life issues, in the longer term these spaces will produce new knowledge for the public and for the academic community in the fields of Death Studies, Speculative Design, and English Literature. The project will also introduce the public and library staff to planning end of life wishes by creating a designated space and design tools for legacy as an innovative model of public engagement. These legacy tools integrate current research with live public testing and co-creation through online sessions, drawing people into forming research questions and outcomes. At its core, the project asks participants to think through key questions about being human at the end of life.

This project is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, Carnegie UK, and The Wolfson Foundation, Engaging Libraries Phase 2. 

More info and background to the project here.


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