Dr Laura King

School of History, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

Supporting the bereaved during a global pandemic: an arts and history approach

Rapid Action Fund

This project involves establishing a set of online films, writing and resources, to resonate and support people going through bereavement. It will be freely available for use by bereavement professionals and members of the public. These resources have been produced by artist Ellie Harrison, whose work ‘the Grief Series’ explores different aspects of grief, bereavement and remembrance (more here: https://www.griefseries.co.uk/). This artistic work has been produced in collaboration with a wide range of partners, including historian Laura King, who is researching how people remember the dead throughout the twentieth century in Britain, and how that has changed.

Our hub of resources will take the form of an interactive map. There has been a recent increased demand for bereavement services during the Covid pandemic. When funerals were having to be reimagined, people needed creativity and guidance to find new ways to remember. This online resource allows us to archive our knowledge and share it as widely as possible to sustain our community through this collective moment of mass loss, using historical research into various experiences of loss (including wars and other pandemics) to provide creative ways for people to cope in extremely difficult circumstances.

Dr Laura King can be contacted by email: L.King@leeds.ac.uk