Saturday, September 26, 2009
Death and dying programmes on BBC
There are two TV programmes about death and dying from a cultural perspective on BBC2 and BBC4 next week, produced in conjunction with the Open University. The programmes are apparently available to an international audience for a week after transmission via BBC iPlayer online. Here's the blurb:
Richard Wilson: Two Feet in the Grave
Tuesday 29 September, 10:35-11:35pm, BBC ONE (England), 11.15pm-00.15am (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Richard Wilson sets out to uncover just what happens to our bodies when we die and the very different ways people deal with death and grief. Richard meets some of the army of people whose jobs bring them into daily contact with dead people, including pathologists, mortuary technicians, embalmers, and crematorium operatives. He explores the role of memorial photography through history with Professor Glennys Howarth and considers new rituals like roadside memorials and ‘ghostbikes’, as well as grave reclamation and garden burial.
The Art of Dying
Wednesday 30 September, 9:00-10:00pm, BBC FOUR
Art historian Dan Cruickshank confronts the unavoidable issue of his own certain death. Reliving his own family losses, he explores how death has been dealt with through the ages: from the epic depiction of "Doom" paintings that show the day of judgement to the fashion for death masks and death bed paintings; from the art of the obituary writer to the incredible wartime memorial of Kathe Kollwitz; from the medieval tomb of an archbishop of Canterbury to his own death mask. Along the way he reflects on his own obituary and meets art historian and contemplative, Sister Wendy to quiz her on the helpfulness of art in the face of death; painter Maggi Hambling who portrayed her deceased mother; and Jamie McCartney who took a plaster cast of his own dead father.
* Further details on the Open University website.
* Image by Jansku in London of Banksy's Ozone's Angel, in memorium to a dead graffiti artist.