Carnivale of Life and Death – 11.11.11


The Carnival will be held this weekend Fri 11, Sat 12 & Sun 13 November
at the Civic Hall and Heritage Park in Mullumbimby

We interviewed Zenith Virago, our community ‘Death Walker’,  a few months ago when she shared her plans to create a major event encouraging the community to celebrate life and death in a creative and fun way. Well the day is nigh and Zenith tells us how we can get involved…

Byron is a great place to live, but it is also great place to die.  We are cutting edge of a more natural approach to death and dying, celebrating our diverse lifestyles in a deathstyle that is meaningful and inspiring. For those who don’t follow a traditional faith, the opportunity to connect to something meaningful and sacred is a precious and healing part of saying goodbye and living with loss. This is the 5th year for the Day of the Dead Ceremony and we wanted to create something bigger and more diverse,  to offer a better ‘way to go’ to everyone in any of our various communities.  We are really blazing a trail that others are starting to pick up and run with, as they understand it helps to create a healthier bereavement and thus a more connected community.

An awareness and fund raising event put on by Zenith and the Natural Death Centre (NDC), the Carnival of Life and Death (COLD) comprises several innovative events with an aim to highlight creativity, movement and colour into our experiences of loss of our loved ones and also our own mortality.  The NDC is committed to empowering people around end-of-life choices and to creating a cultural change for the better.

Friday night at 7.30 for 8.00 start is the Dying to Dance event and ritual for those wanting to dance in a sacred space to local global fusion dance band, Ali Baba. Black and White theme. Tickets @ Door $15.

Saturday and Sunday is the ‘A Dying Art’ exhibition 12-6pm by Curators Nadine Abensur, Dev Lengjel and Lelli Brown, featuring a host of professional artists showing their decorated eco cardboard coffin lids, shrines, shrouds and urns. This is a great afternoon event for parents to bring children along to, and also for the youth of our shire so affected by the death of their peers, to stimulate discussion and broaden our possibilities.

Saturday night is the big opening with MC’s Mandy Nolan & Zenith hosting a wild event not to be missed.  Here you can view the exhibition and also have the opportunity to bid in the a short auction with Robert Bleakley, for wonderful decorated lids by artists James Guppy, John Dahlsen, and Anne Leon, each in their own unique and beautiful style.  Mandy’s lid will be up for raffle, so everyone has a chance to win one by our favourite entertainer.  A bar and food by Open table are available as well as incredulous entertainment by Lady La Quanda and Mae Wilde. All over early so you can go on to other events. Tickets @ Door.

Sunday sees the annual Day of the Dead Ceremony of Remembrance  3-6pm in Heritage Park to gently honour loved ones who have died. Community artist Sam Collyer will be on hand to assist people to make their mementos for the shrine. A free event, everyone is welcome.

We wish Zenith and her team all the best for this event and thank her for  continuing to pioneer and educate our community on the subject of death. It’s very liberating. For more detailed information contact  naturaldeathcentre.org.au  or 0427 924 310.

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3 thoughts on “Carnivale of Life and Death – 11.11.11

  1. Only in Byron. COuld I suggest you write something for The Monthly magazine? They’d be right into this. http://www.themonthly.com.au/
    They love cultural events like this one. About a two years ago they ran a beautiful piece about the funeral of a local institution in Castlemaine, Victoria. His coffin was wheeled to the cemetery on a pushbike, in honour of the bloke’s favoured form of transport.
    As for COLD? Not sure about that acronym!

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