Festival of Ideas: No More Cherry Blossom

22nd Oct 2019, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Tech Hub

No More Cherry Blossom - an innovative piece of applied theatre to reduce death taboo - Alexandra Swift

No More Cherry Blossom – an innovative piece of applied theatre to reduce death taboo – Alexandra Swift

Kicked the bucket… pushing up the daisies, passed away…These euphemisms reflect our reluctance to talk about death. Why is it that as a society we think it is morbid to talk openly about death and dying? For the Victorians, death was commonplace, a part of life. Nowadays due to advances in medical treatments, improved nutrition and living conditions we are living longer than ever before. Whilst longevity is something to be celebrated, death being less frequent and unfamiliar has ultimately increased its taboo.

Alexandra Swift

Healthcare workers especially doctors and nurses are at the forefront of dealing with death and dying and can potentially play a major role in supporting the dying person and family. However, as a palliative care nurse and nurse lecturer Alexandra has discovered that many health professionals and nursing students are not immune to the societal taboo surrounding death, and are themselves fearful of expressing the associated unease when dealing with such emotive situations. In order to help reduce this taboo, the innovative and unique piece of theatre no more cherry blossom has been created. Her aim when performing this piece is to speak to health professionals and the general population about the importance of greater openness about death and the consequences of not having those essential end of life conversations.

No More Cherry Blossom creatively explores the subject of death, a sensitive topic but one which every person is curious about. The message from this piece speaks to the individual and all communities both national and international. Alexandra has received a great deal of interest from both UK and international academics. Her monologue No more cherry blossom has also been translated into Japanese and recently been performed in both Osaka and Tokyo universities. It is currently being utilised as part of a postgraduate ethics module at Tokyo University.

This event is part of Edge Hill University’s annual Festival of Ideas.   Programmed by the University’s three Research Institutes, ISR, ICE and HRI, this year the festival will explore the theme of Exchanges: Creativity, Community, Curiosity.

The exchange of ideas is the fuel of the knowledge and creative economy. Locally, nationally and internationally we are all involved in sharing concepts, swapping insights, and trading opinions. This year’s festival explores communication, reciprocity, and transactions in all areas, from policy making to healthcare, social enterprise to cultural production. Be the exchange you want to see

More information about the festival and the full programme of events is available here