A week-long, national festival “Giving Life To Death” came to a close last weekend with a fair bringing together volunteers and organisations which support people, and the families of people, who are dying. The event was held at La Misericordia in Palma on the patio. Familiar faces included Jackie Codd from Age Concern and Krista Hyer from the Cancer Support Group who both supported the event with a stall. Other exhibitors included the Dr Esser Medical Centre and DIME which both specialise in palliative care. The event had some live performances from poets Pepa Vélez and Nexus Pep, and live music from Mark Alex, and Flavio and Fabricio from Vocal Systems.
The fair in Palma was part of the national initiative which saw fairs and events happening all over the country. The intention of the festival was to speak about everything that surrounds death, to make known the many organisations and professionals that work in this field and to encourage the general public to participate. The ongoing intention of the Festival is to offer specific events throughout the year, through their YouTube channel and in person. Other activities included in the week were visits to cemeteries and funeral homes, talks about dying and Death Cafes where everyone is invited to participate in the discussion.
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Death Cafes are always offered on a not for profit basis, in an accessible, respectful and confidential space with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz. Death Cafes have spread quickly across Europe, North America and Australasia. As of today, there have been 13327 Death Cafes in 81 countries since September 2011. If 10 people came to each one that would be 133270 participants. Glynis German is the contact for Death Cafes here in Mallorca if you are interested to meet and talk about all of the subjects around death and dying.
If you want to know more about the festival and how you can contribute then visit https://dandovidaalamuerte.org. If you are interested to attend a Death Cafe in person or online visit https://deathcafe.com/profile/7931
Congratulations to everyone working on the festival across Spain, and particularly to the volunteers in Majorca.
The Arts Society Mallorca
Despite terrible weather the Arts Society members braved the rain and made their way to the Son Muntaner Golf course on Thursday evening. The effort was worth it as they were treated to a very interesting talk about the development of art, architecture and literature in Barcelona in 1900. The talk was given by Helen Sijsling, the chair for the Nerja Arts Society, who had flown over that day.
The next talk will be in December on Friday 3rd at Son Muntaner. The subject will be The Three Wise, and the traditions of the Magi, which is rather fitting for the festive period.
The talk will be given by Christopher Bradley who is an expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. If you want to join the Arts Society you can become a member for the year or attend as a guest. You can find more information on their website https://theartssociety.org/mallorca