Death and the Contemporary is a literature – visual arts collaboration between Dr. Georgina Colby (University of Westminster) and artist and writer Anthony Luvera.

The complex and perpetually shifting cultural terrain of the twenty-first century requires are-examination of the political, anthropological and philosophical issues surrounding death. Questions of memorialization, mourning, voyeurism, ethics, subjectivity, agency, identity and aesthetics shape panel discussions surrounding death by key figures across the disciplines of literature, visual arts, and philosophy in a series of four site specific events held in London.

The authors of the project seek to further an understanding of the ways in which the epistemological issues surrounding death in the contemporary period impact its representation in literature, the visual arts, and philosophy. A critical pathway of the project is to propose new directions in which we might renegotiate ways of understanding death that build on, yet move beyond, the fields of cultural memory and trauma studies.

Death in contemporary culture is addressed through the prism of four key areas of enquiry: space, trauma, rites and the body, and aesthetics and representation. Visual and literary representations of death are often contingent on their acceptability or marginalization within the cultural domain, as are artistic and academic discursive practices within the field. Death and the Contemporary seeks to interrogate the acknowledged aesthetic boundaries that exist but also seeks to unveil limitations on aesthetic representations of death in contemporary culture that perhaps have not as yet been fully recognized.

Participating Organisations: The Arts Council, The University of Westminster, The Culture Capital Exchange, Backdoor Broadcasting

General Enquiries / Mailing List / Press: