Emma Curtis is both consultant and collaborator for the Arrivals + Departures public programme. She combines her 30-year career as an operatic contralto soloist with being an award-winning secular minister, grief counsellor and psychological therapist. She is the CEO of Ceremony Matters providing advanced training to funeral celebrants and has a grief and resiliency practice in London’s West End.
Ash Hayhurst is the author of ‘Making informed choices when planning a funeral – a guide for queer people’ and has written articles for the Funeral Service Journal and ICCM journal. Before becoming a funeral arranger, Ash volunteered with LGBT+ charities Stonewall Housing and Educate & Celebrate helping to develop workshops and resources for young people.
Debi Lewinson-Roberts is a Funeral Celebrant who has bespoke insight and experiential knowledge of African-Caribbean funeral practices. Her working knowledge of diverse cultural and religious practices enables her to work with families on a deeper and more meaningful level. Debi has a background in education, training & development and not-for-profit management and is a member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants.
Sophie Herxheimer is an artist and poet. Her work has been shown at Tate Modern, at her local allotments and on a 48 metre hoarding along the sea front at Margate. She has held residencies for TfL, Museum of Liverpool, and The National Maritime Museum. Her collection Velkom to Inklandt (Short Books 2017) was an Observer book of the month and a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Her latest book is 60 Lovers to Make and Do (Henningham Family Press, 2019). She was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2019, and has recently returned from a six month residency in California.
Laura Godfrey-Isaacs aspires to bring her knowledge and experience in the arts together with midwifery to bring fresh interdisciplinary perspectives to inform birth education, practice, policy and research.
She regularly presents at conferences, writes and blogs about birth. She also creates interdisciplinary projects and campaigns, such as Maternal Journal which supports mental health and well-being through creative journaling.
She is Ambassador for Proceate Projects, Co-Chair of the Women’s Equality Party’s Health Committee, Board Advisor of The International Forum for Wellbeing in Pregnancy, and member of the Thought Leadership Group at the NMC reviewing midwifery education standards.
> Birth, Art and Culture Blog
Suzanne Dhaliwal is an artist, activist and campaigner, working on climate justice, indigenous rights and mining issues, listed as one of the most popular voices on the Environment in 2018 by the Evening Standard. She is founder of the UK Tar Sands Network, which has worked for over a decade to campaign against corporations and financial institutions invested in the highly polluting Alberta Tar Sands.
Suzanne has led high impact creative divestment campaigns to shift the insurance sector from underwriting coal and tar sands projects & artistic interventions to highlight environmental injustice of corporations including Shell & BP in the Niger Delta, Gulf Coast and the Arctic. She has been working to amplify the voices of indigenous delegations at the international climate negotiations and centre the voices of Indigenous, Black and POC voices in the climate movement internationally. She currently works as an artist, producer-writer, lecturer, anti-oppression trainer and completed a research fellow at the University of Brighton examining race, media, art and climate justice and as a media consultant with multiple partners including Indigenous Climate Action, and Indigenous Environmental Network.
Bilal Nasim is a men’s- and mixed-group facilitator and trainer exploring what it means to be alive and our relationship with death. He holds grief-tending workshops which provide the space to express and be witnessed in our grief, drawing on the practices, rituals and teachings of elders including Sophy Banks, Jeremy Thres, Joanna Macy, Martin Prechtel, Francis Weller, Maeve Gavin and others. He holds workshops on death, taking an embodied approach to cultivating a nourishing and ongoing relationship with the awareness of our own mortality, and regularly hosts Death Cafe’s. He is training as a death doula with Red Tent End of Life Doulas and is a personal resilience trainer with Tough Cookie.
Toni Lee is a visual anthropologist, filmmaker and community organiser based in West Yorkshire. Toni currently uses film to engage with local environmentalist practice, encouraging multi-species placemaking and provincializing environmental justice. They also organise with the Racial Justice Network and Yorkshire Resists coalition, campaigning against intrusive policing and hostile environment policies in the UK.
Rima Hamid is a community organiser, poet, resident artist at A4 Sounds Dublin, and budding DJ from Sudan. Their practice is centred around event planning as a tool for community healing and resistance. They are attempting to revive the lost art of mixtape making, bringing back sonic extensions of our mindset and emotions. As well as playlist curation and podcasting.