«Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.»

(Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher)

It’s just over a month since the first ever festival dedicated to the topic of death was celebrated in Spain. Dando Vida a la Muerte Festival (https://dandovidaalamuerte.org/) was a week long series of activities enjoyed by many across the country and in certain parts of Latin America.

Hundreds of people showed up or tuned in to listen to professionals (https://youtube.com/c/dandovidaalamuerte) talk about dignity and compassion in dying amongst other important subjects. Films were shown with their directors invited to explain the reasons behind choosing to film about dying and death.

There was the world’s first largest online Death Café during which over 100 participants gathered to talk about dying, death and more. The Before I die global project was enjoyed with walls created in the north of Spain and the Balearics where people were invited to reflect and write down what they wished to accomplish before they die.

In short, the first ever Dando Vida de la Muerte Festival was a huge success and that was thanks to you! A short survey was sent out and the overall results showed that the level of satisfaction was high and the format achieved what we were hoping.

For next year’s edition, we hope to reach even more people especially those from ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups we didn’t quite reach this year – people with physical and learning disabilities as well as members of the LGBTQ community. For us it’s important that we recognise those members of society also deserve the chance to talk about death and have the same opportunities too.

Meanwhile we’re starting to think about next year’s Festival and can’t wait to begin the journey of finding and inviting speakers, investigating good films and organising a series of activities for all to enjoy! We’ll also be looking at other global initiatives and we especially hope to encourage groups and individuals to participate by organising their own events during the Festival week (Monday – Sunday, 1st to 7th November 2021).