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Professor Jenny Kitzinger awarded for her Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Engagement

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Professor Jenny Kitzinger holding the award at Celebrating Excellence Awards 2013 ceremony

Professor Jenny Kitzinger at Celebrating Excellence Awards 2013

The jury of Cardiff University’s second Celebrating Excellence Awards have recognised Professor Jenny Kitzinger’s Before I Die Festival for its contribution to innovation and engagement.

The festival, which was curated by Professor Kitzinger and took place earlier this May, was designed to challenge cultural taboos around death and to support discussion of end-of-life wishes.

It took place in several venues around Cardiff and attracted extensive publicity to the city and University with over 700 people attending panel discussions, talks, tours, poetry readings and film screenings.

Professor Kitzinger said she was delighted to receive the award as, “The festival became much more than simply a series of presentations and performances as people who came along as presenters and as 'audiences' used the space to explore ideas and share experiences - conversation continuing often for an hour, or even two hours, after the formal event finished.

“Above all, the festival confirmed to me the urgent need for change around society’s approach to death and dying.”

This sentiment was reiterated by Mark Drakeford, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Services who spoke at the closing event of the festival and said, “The festival has helped a great deal to open up the issues ... the reluctance that there is to talk about the subject in policy, clinical and other circles and to try to break through that.’

The Celebrating Excellence Awards committee stated that Professor Kitzinger’s work had enabled thought-provoking consideration of very sensitive issues. “The festival was a beacon for debate both locally and nationally, drawing attention from organisations and participants across the UK to an under-discussed and taboo subject area.”

After its initial success, the Before I Die Festival will return in May 2014, this time held by York University.

Related Links

Before I Die Festival

Professor Jenny Kitzinger's Profile

Chronic Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre

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