About the Festival of Life and Death…
HAYMARKET THEATRE FoLaD EVENT 8TH SEPT 2-5PM – PROGRAMME IS NOW FULL.
There is still free space for wellness providers to have ‘exhibitor’ presence (roll-up banner, leaflets).
The Festival of Life and Death is a completely FREE open inclusive concept for anyone to use, if you are interested in improving wellness for people and societies, especially addressing suicide awareness and prevention, and to help make a better world.
‘Interested’ might be that you:
- want simply to attend and be part of it,
- or want to help spread the word,
- or start your own Festival of Life and Death event – Please do it – no need to ask, just do it
- or participate as a speaker,
- or as an artist or writer,
- or a musician or dancer or poet,
- or you have a choir or orchestra or dance school and want to perfom,
- or you have a drama group, or you can juggle or play the spoons,
- or you are therapist or gardener,
- or you are a carer or nurse,
- or you are an academic or expert or researcher – and you know what works because you have the evidence
- or you work with horses or dogs, or clay or wood, or flowers or fish,
- or water or sand, or sticks and stones,
- or you are grieving or troubled,
- or you know what it is to be grieving and troubled,
- or you are an expert or practitioner or leader or worker of a group/organization in any aspect of mental health or wellness or suicide,
- or you might have something else to offer, such as a venue or product or service, or transport, or merchandise or mindfulness
- or you want to make cakes or serve tea,
- or you want to sit and talk and listen and be heard and understood
- and laugh and/or cry, and sing or dance, and eat cakes and drink tea…
…really anything qualifies you to become involved and to make a difference.
You might also want to change the world in some way – to question why society is so unwell, and why life is so much less fair than it could be.
The Festival of Life and Death is a way for ordinary people to get together and make a very big impact, and to enable a great amount of good to happen.
There is so much that we can do to live better.
Suicide is a central issue within the Festival of Life and Death because suicide is the most dangerous tip of the mental health iceberg.
Suicide is also a very reliable indicator of how well the world is.
Suicide rates have risen by 60% since 1970.
If we can dramatically reduce suicides, especially among young people, for whom suicide rates are rising fastest, we implicitly improve most other things in life.
This starts with awareness and breaking taboos, and enabling people to gather and talk, and to understand how we can all be well.
Suicide prevention is not the solution though.
The solution is living well, in every possible way, which means improving the modern world and modern life.
To live more like we are designed to live. To eat well, sleep well, exercise, socialise, sing and dance, and laugh and play, and to work in ways that make us happy and fulfilled, not ill and sad.
There are countless wonderful groups and organizations and pioneering individuals, all working in different ways to improve how we live, and the world we live in.
Joining and working together, to understand and help make the differences we want to see, is a very big part of the The Festival of Life and Death.
Change happens when people work together.
Leicester is the founding venue. 8th September 2018.
Other places and cities anywhere in the world can run Festival of Life and Death events.
Start a Festival of Life and Death event. Be part of the solution.
The Festival of Life and Death is FREE. Any donations are entirely voluntary. Organisers can decide which charities locally to support if they choose to do so.
The purpose of the Festival is to raise awareness, to educate, offer inspiration, hope, comfort, friendship, and hopefully help improve how we all live.
The Festival of Life and Death is open to everyone – to attend, to participate, and to offer and innovate and create your own activities to support the aims.
The aims of the Festival of Life and Death are basically to…
- Educate and raise awareness about suicide.
- Extend this to as many aspects of mental health and especially wellness as possible.
- Help to improve how we live and die.
- Raise some money for relevant charities if you choose.
- Do all the above with integrity, passion, love and joy, and as inclusively and simply as possible.
- Do all the above with strong emphasis on wellness, positivity, entertainment, fun, laughter, openness, diversity, imagination and innovation.
We will probably find better ways to define all this, and we are open to input and feedback about this and anything else any time.
The reason for and the Festival of Life and Death…
The Festival of Life and Death is being organized by Alan Chapman, with considerable help and inspiration from many other much more clever and brilliant people. The Festival of Life and Death event name was suggested by Jed Spittle, a friend and founding director of the Haymarket Theatre consortium. I’m grateful also to Michael for suggesting the term ‘open source’ in describing the free use of the Festival of Life and Death concept and branding.
Alan Chapman was born in London in 1957 and after a career in business he founded the work/life education website Businessballs.com, which remains important in his work. Alan lost his partner Liane Ashberry to suicide in April 2015, and soon afterwards experienced further life-changing traumas and stresses. This caused ongoing suicidal depression/anxiety, and deep personal growth and work, including conceiving the Festival of Life and Death.
The Festival of Life and Death grew from the urge to find meaning, good, and purpose from deep personal loss and trauma.
Many other people experience similar urges and produce extraordinary legacies and help for others, borne from loss, personal struggles, bereavement, and disasters, etc. Many such people, including Liane Ashberry, continue to inspire the Festival of Life and Death.
Alan has lived/worked at Feelgood Farm in Anstey, near Leicester UK since 1991. Alan is not an academic. His main skills are communicating, creating and enabling. Alan’s passions and his work, music, hugging, writing, reading, the love of friends and family, running, eating/drinking clean natural things, and mindfulness.
FoLaD founding Aims and Constitution
Please note that FoLaD’s open format means that other FoLaD groups/initiatives are free to develop their own interpretations and constitutions.
The Festival of Life and Death is a recent concept (2017) and still evolving.
FoLaD’s primary aim is to reduce suicides, by:
- breaking suicide taboos and encouraging people to talk about suicide
- raising awareness and educating about suicide
- advocating and enabling wellness ideas and experiences, especially via local groups and communities, and especially using arts, entertainment, food and drink, nature, and human interaction (hence festivals and gatherings)
FoLaD’s secondary aims are to:
- offer comfort and platform for people bereaved or threatened by suicide, via festivals/support networks/other agencies and initiatives
- contribute to educating and shifting attitudes and policies at corporate and governance levels, internationally
The Festival of Life and Death determinedly has the lowest possible infrastracture and costs.
FoLaD as founded is not strongly focused on raising money. FoLaD’s priorities are raising awareness and enabling positive change.
FoLaD seeks to grow organically as a movement with minimal infrastructure; open to all, making best use of modern peer-to-peer communications and collaborative technologies.
At some time FoLaD, or initiatives/groups within FoLaD might choose to constitute as a formal charity or Limited Company, such as a CIC. Until such time, FoLaD is operated as a non-profit movement, founded and led (notably formation, and Leicester/London FoLaDs) by Alan Chapman, alongside Alan’s other social enterprise work, constituted as a sole trader. Alan has funded FoLaD to date, and has received some donations towards the costs. Details of accounts will be published within the second year of operation, i.e., during 2019.
Meanwhile here is a rough summary of expenditure and income:
Broad financial summary of FoLaD to date (Aug 2018):
Design, publicity, website costs – £4,980
Travel, admin, events costs – £550
Deposit payment to Haymarket Theatre – £400
Appx main costs to date – £5,900
Anonymous donation – £390
The Festival of Life and Death (FoLaD ) is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.