Gideon Reeling

Conversations on Life & Death

Video Archive Project- oral history, conversation, creativity and information sharing.
An ongoing, cross cultural, creative and collaborative ‘conversation’ that started to evolve when  longtime GR collaborator, Artist Jo Dagless & our Artistic Director Kate Hargreaves  joined forces with Sybil Ah Mane of Flexible Films

Lockdown 2020 brought these 3 women together over a shared interest in finding ways to tell stories and in finding ways to discuss death and dying.

2020 was not business as usual
The business of the world was not usual.
The events & situations of 2020: the tragic, unlawful death of George Floyd,  the ongoing Covid crisis and its management highlighted, for us and for many of us, just how rotten many of our systems are. just how much work needs to be done across the earth to make us all free and how ‘business as usual’ should really look in a better global future.

The positive movements that are gaining momentum and emerging from these tragic events perhaps highlight even more widely how imperative it is to talk, to collaborate, to speak up and to stand up for what we believe.

We came together due to a shared belief: 
We believe it is important to discuss death. 
And that lending our voice to a positive death movement is a timely thing to do.
That death is the one certainty about life that we all share.
We believe that we can learn from one another how to cope with it, experience it, prepare for it and communicate about it.
We are in good company. Other people are willing to talk about it too.
Where the project will lead we are not yet sure but what has emerged so far is an evolving work that archives, shares and spreads disparate conversations all focussed on death and dying
The collaboration has enriched us.

We had 22 conversations in the 2nd half of 2020, 
edited 20 films, 
got  16,130 views on social media, 
we are now in the process of creating a 5 minute film to tie up this phase of the project and undertaking some evaluation to help us to take the project in its next direction.

Jo is now working on an online festival 'Lifting the Lid' the aim of which is to create truly inclusive and accessible spaces (virtual or actual) where we can discuss openly difficult themes with people who do things very differently from us, hopefully by intimately sharing experiences we can start to learn how to move forward accepting mortality and allowing that acceptance to impact positively, every living moment we have.”
Jo's work has inspired Gideon Reeling's and contributed to our work for many years, in her words, its a project she's "been trying to get together for years in different shapes and forms... an ongoing, global, open conversation and creative collaboration based on the issues around death and dying that we all face.

Kate is exploring technology to create plaques and memorials in public spaces with James Ohene Djan and Winkball and Sybil.

Sybil continues to make extraordinary films for communities and with Flexible Film's brilliant Magic Video Box