It's Ok to talk about death -Dr Karina Croucher talks about her new project


Our Creative Dissemination project is the result of Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The first grant funded the ‘Continuing Bonds: Exploring the meaning and legacy of death through past and contemporary practice’ until July 2018.

The Continuing Bonds project had already branched into further work, including the Dying to Talk project, which engaged young ambassadors in creating a resource for schools to encourage pupils to talk about death, dying and bereavement. A ‘Death Festival’ was held at the University of Bradford where this video resource was piloted with school-age children and received an overwhelmingly positive response. The Continuing Bonds team have been socially active throughout the project, running public engagement events such as Death Cafes, exhibitions about the project in public spaces (Leicester Cathedral, Gallery II – Bradford) and workshops at various organisations (Bradford Bereavement Support, Cruise Bereavement Care, Marie Curie).

The Creative Dissemination project runs for 9-months and is led by Principal Investigator Dr Karina Croucher (University of Bradford) and supported by Co-Investigators Dr Jennie Dayes (University of Bradford) and Dr Melanie Giles (University of Manchester). Participants are invited to three creative writing workshops and to contribute to an anthology and celebration event. The anthology and workshop materials will be hosted online to encourage others to hold similar writing events, write about death, dying and grief issues, and to engage an even wider audience on the topic. The creative dissemination project continues with the original drive to normalise talking about death, dying and grief and to use archaeology as a means by which to do this. At its foundation, the Creative Dissemination project is multidisciplinary, drawing on archaeology, psychology, the arts and end of life/palliative care.

At least one paper will be produced during the timeframe of the project, taking this unique collaboration to a practice audience of psychologists. The team intend to apply for further funding. This is likely to include an early-careers researcher grant, where the continuing bonds model of using archaeology to open up conversations about difficult issues, can be applied to other important areas. One idea is to use archaeological and ethnographic case studies to open discussions about present-day symptoms of eating difficulties. The team are also investigating taking the Continuing Bonds model to school groups, working towards a ‘death education’.

Contact Karina to find out more or get involved.


University of Bradford

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