Deathfest 2.0: a duel with death is Australia’s first arts and culture festival focusing on death, dying and how to live, taking place at various venues across Brisbane from October 15 to November 4.
Presented by Metro Arts, this bi-annual multi-arts festival returns after a successful inaugural festival in 2016. This thoughtfully-curated program of live theatre, visual arts, circus and discussions encourage an open-mindedness with death.
“Unlike other cultures around the world where death is commemorated through joyous celebrations, here in Australia we have largely taken grief and mourning behind closed doors,” said Metro Arts Creative Director and CEO, Jo Thomas. “Deathfest gives us the opportunity to explore and embrace grief through shared heartbreak or soul-releasing stories.”
Deathfest 2.0 features 13 profound works including 5 world premieres and 6 national premieres plus signature events. Here are just some of the highlights:
Flipside Circus, Queensland’s largest youth circus have partnered with Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only palliative care facility for children, to present the world premiere of We Live Here, exploring death from a child’s perspective.
Bushland, from UK artists French & Mottershead, is a visually evocative audio work that explores in poetic and precise detail the human body’s decomposition long after you’ve lost consciousness, as you’re slowly and gently subsumed by the earth over thousands of years.
Bloodstock, a new installation by artist Julie Vulcan, considers the anonymous blood donor standing invisibly at the threshold of life and death. Engaging with notions of kin beyond our immediate family, this artwork considers questions around borders and inherited social prejudice.
Get involved in some good old-fashioned story telling through Yarn Storytelling, which features true stories, told live, without notes. Hear stories, share stories and connect through story, with this special edition featuring Ghost Stories.
And then there’s the afterlife party, Cthonica, where you can purge your sins, summon your loved ones and look into the abyss at this wake filled with Death-Jockeys, roving performers and art installations.
By Deb Lidster
Metro Arts is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com