The beginnings of Death & the Maiden go back to the inaugural Death Salon, an event packed full of speakers from various backgrounds and professions, all sharing their research, ideas & experiences of death, where a panel discussion on the theme of Death and the Feminine took place. During an exchange among both panelists and attendees the observation was made that the vast majority of individuals interested in working with themes of death in everything from academic research to the arts to taking on roles working directly with death and the dying identified as female. That day, the question of why so many women were interested in actively engaging with death emerged and has been repeated in countless conversations as well as being repeatedly brought up by the media.
A few months later a chance meeting between Sarah Troop and Lucy Talbot took place from what sounds like the ultimate feminine cliché, a conversation in the women’s toilets, at Death Salon UK. It was again observed by the two that the audience was predominantly female, sparking discussion about why this may have been…
Threads of thought included:
- Maternal links between early life & end of life care
- Historically & culturally what role have women played with death & dying?
- How women seem to be dominating the emerging ‘death positive’ movement
- Why is it that modern women are taking on these roles?
- The array of new approaches women are bringing to the field through various academic & artistic means
From here, conversation continued back and forth across the pond for a matter of months before Death & the Maiden was born.
The founders’ aim with this project is to create a space of exploration: examining the relationship between women & death by sharing ideas & creating a platform for discussion and feminist narratives. They hope to create a supportive and inclusive community, and to amplify the voices of those actively creating the future of death.