Welcome to the Festival

Jenny Kitzinger

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to our 'Before I Die' Festival - a festival for the living about dying - that includes music, art, poetry, theatre, film, expert panels and public debate.

My interest in curating this festival grew out of my research exploring people's experiences of having a loved one in a long-term coma and their thoughts on what makes for a 'good death'. I have become convinced that we urgently need to talk about end-of-life issues as individuals and as a society. From small beginnings the festival grew to include colleagues from across the humanities schools at Cardiff University as well as collaborations with National Arts organisations, artists and community groups. Although this festival is the first of its kind in Wales, it is part of a growing social movement to reflect on how we manage death and dying and is linked to a network of events across the UK for 'dying awareness' week.

I hope you enjoy our festival, and that it provokes conversations with family and friends about end-of-life wishes, supports us in thinking about our own mortality, allows us to reflect on grief and loss, and helps to develop the social and policy context to support as good a death as possible for each of us.

Jenny Kitzinger, Cardiff University

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