Death and funerals are considered a taboo subject in most of societies. “Death” and “dead” are often rephrased as “loss”, “gone” or “passed away”, and the words “deceased” or “remains” are used instead of ”dead body” and “corpse”. Many of us do not even realise that we don’t know the detailed process of conducting funerals and what happens to the dead body after the rituals — people often avoid talking about it. I followed three funeral directors to investigate their jobs. The funeral directors are sometimes stigmatised, dealing with their own grief affected by their line of work, having only a few people to openly talk about it with. This social documentary multimedia piece consists of video interviews and still photographs that reveal the funeral director’s work, as well as tackling the question of whether we should really avoid discussing the topic of death and funerals.
Exhibitions and research outcomes:
- 2005 For Grief: A photographic social documentary of funeral directors and their experiences, published in Create World 2015 conference proceedings, AUC (pdf is available from Research Gate)
- 2015 For Grief: A photographic social documentary of funeral directors and their experiences, CreateWorld 2015 conference, Griffith University
- 2014 ‘For Grief’ Things we avoid talking about: Society’s denial of death and the stigmatisation of funeral directors, Life of Things Conference, University of Queenslad
- 2013 For Grief, Group exhibition ‘liminal’ at the Arts Centre Gold Coast
See also a selection of behind the scene images of funeral homes, ‘Not forbidden, but hidden’.