About Death & the Maiden

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 Chavez 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
  • Exploring the role gender, race and privilege play in determining our relationship to and experience of death and dying
  • Why is it that modern women are taking on these roles and how can we reclaim an often inaccurate and often misogynist narrative?
  • The array of new approaches women are bringing to the field through various academic and 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 an inclusive space for examining the relationship between self-identified women & death. We invite contributors and community to collaborate through the sharing of ideas by providing a platform for discussion and feminist narratives – here on the blog, on social media and through events and conferences. Their desire is to to create a supportive and diverse community by to amplifying the voices of those actively creating the future of death – through their work, research, innovation and activism.

background

‘Young Girl & Death’ by Marianne Stokes [1900]