Publicly contemplating death, end-of-life planning, and grief largely remains taboo. And death rituals and end-of-life practices are still predominantly dictated by archaic ideals and powerful institutions. Yet the act of dying is perhaps the most unifying experience we as living beings all share. Through the Queering Death ASSEMBLY, we looked beyond the norms and stigmas around death to: explore making death rituals more meaningful, equitable, and ecologically sustainable, interrogate the intersections of end-of-life and privilege, uplift the unique relationship with LGBTQIA+ communities and death, and hold space for grief. We cultivated this through biweekly discussion groups, collective research, an open-to-the-public spiritual will-writing event, and a culminating booklet project. Through an intergenerational cohort, we exchanged ideas, beliefs, and visions of end-of-life practices – particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice uprisings – to come into closer relationship with life itself.
Documentation / Resources
Booklet coming soonLink to researchWatch Pitch Presentation
Ari Simon(-ofsky), Amanda Vincelli, Aleksandra Prokop, Barbara O’Neill Ferris, Celine Kuklowsky, Dorit Cypis, Emily Baker, Gretchen Booth, Huntress Janos, Alice Yuan Zhang, Jonathan Simcosky, Rachel Kauff, Mounir Souss, Laura Stinger, Lindsay Farrington, Maya Livio, M Rasmussen, Peter Hoffman, Soffi Stiassni, Sya Warfield
The Queering Death ASSEMBLY group used their microgrant ($225) to pay for design work, printing costs, and the distribution of their booklet project.