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May 15, 2021

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Some will call it unusual – even perhaps macabre – but the forthcoming Carnivale of Life and Death at Mullumbimby Civic Hall this weekend will certainly be a unique event.

Let’s face it, death is one of the last taboos and it’s time it came out of the closet – or should that be coffin?

‘The aim is to highlight creativity, movement and colour into our experiences of loss of our loved ones and also our own mortality,’ says co-organiser Zenith Virago.

‘Being the fifth year for the Day of the Dead Ceremony, we wanted to create something bigger and more diverse – to offer a better “way to go” to everyone in any of our various communities.’

Three day event

The festival is from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 November, and will be held at Mullumbimby Civic Hall and Heritage Park.

On Friday at 8pm, the Dying to Dance event will feature local fusion dance band, Ali Baba.

Saturday and Sunday is the ‘A Dying Art’ exhibition by Curators Nadine Abensur, Dev Lengjel and Lelli Brown, featuring a host of professional artists showing their decorated eco-cardboard coffin lids, shrines, shrouds and urns.

This is a great afternoon event for parents to bring children along to, and also for young people affected by the death of peers, to stimulate discussion and perhaps challenge how we look at mortality.

Art auction

Saturday night is the big opening with MCs Mandy Nolan and Zenith hosting a wild event not to be missed.

The exhibition of wonderfully decorated coffin lids by artists James Guppy, John Dahlsen, and Anne Leon will be on full display along with the opportunity to bid with auctioneer Robert Bleakley.

Mandy’s lid will also be up for raffle.

A bar and food by Open Table is available as well as entertainment by Lady La Quanda and Mae Wilde. It will all be over early so you can go on to other events.

Sunday sees the annual Day of the Dead Ceremony of Remembrance in Heritage Park to gently honour loved ones who have died.

Community artist Sam Collyer will be on hand to assist people to make their mementos for the shrine.

A free event, everyone is welcome. ‘Byron is a great place to live, but it is also great place to die,’ says Zenith.

For more information contact www.naturaldeathcentre.org.au.


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