Use the form below to add an arrival (birth) or departure (death) to the display boards. If you add a location, the name will appear on the Map. Read the FAQs for more information.
Somerset House, London
10 September – 10 October 2020
Edmond J. Safra Fountain Courtyard, Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA
Open daily 10.00-19.00
Booking for all events available via Somerset House website - see links in each listing
Sunday 13 September12.00-18.00
12.00-14.00 Death Cafe
Free, Limited Capacity, Booking Required
An open-air invitation, to join us for tea and cake in the Death Cafe discussion space. Hosted by Emma Curtis, Debi Lewinson-Roberts and Ash Hayhurst.
14:15-14:45 Talk: Arriving + Departing
Free, Limited Capacity, No Booking Required
An informal discussion between Arrivals + Departures artist Davina Drummond and grief and resilience counsellor Emma Curtis.
12:00-18:00 Drawings: of Arrivals and Departures
Free, Limited Capacity, Booking Required
Artist and poet Sophie Herxheimer will listen to your story, before live drawing and writing an ink & brush synthesis of what she has heard.
Takeover - Birth
Wednesday 16 September
Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, birth activist, midwife and artist
Laura will take over the ARRIVALS + DEPARTURES boards on Wednesday 16 September with a focus on birth. She will be inviting the public to celebrate and commemorate important midwives from the past (Departures), as well as recent new babies born during Lockdown (Arrivals).
Sunday 20 September14.00-16.00
Free, Limited Capacity, Booking Required
Whilst some of us may birth all of us are born. An open-air Birth Cafe discussion space.
Birth Cafe provides a safe, non-judgmental space in which anyone and everyone is welcome to come and talk about their relationship to, and concept of birth, in order to build understanding and respect for its psychosocial, cultural and bodily significance for us all.
As Birth increasingly takes centre stage, through popular TV programmes, celebrity pregnancies and NHS maternity scandals, what should be a momentous event can seem reduced to a procedure or ‘event’ devoid of its wider significance.
Birth Cafe is based on the Death Cafe model, and is a welcoming, inclusive and diverse space. Birth Cafe is convened by Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, birth activist, midwife, and artist.
YARA + DAVINA in Conversation with Jonathan Reekie
Tuesday 22 September18.00-19.00
Online Event, No Booking Required
YARA + DAVINA discuss their social practice and how they together developed ARRIVALS + DEPARTURES. In conversation with Somerset House Director Jonathan Reekie, they expand on the timely themes of birth and death and how the current climate has added another dimension to the artwork.
Takeover - Environmental Justice
Wednesday 23 September
Suzanne Dhaliwal, climate justice creative and campaigner, will host a takeover of the Arrivals + Departures boards to honour the ancestors, past and present, of the environmental and climate justice movements who are often left out of the narrative of mainstream activism and green movements. Honouring the names of those, who are often invisible but central to current climate movements, who have emboldened the world to action, is a departure point for us to have a wider discussion about the role of culture & art in the erasure and amplification of climate activists, community organisers and land defenders.
Takeover - Grief
Wednesday 30 September
Bilal Nasim, facilitator of grief-spaces and men's work, will be taking over the boards with a focus on grief and death. He will be inviting the public to name and commemorate people that have died (Departures). We are all carrying grief related to loss. We all know death in some way or another. And yet nowadays, we talk about grief and death less and less. Via this departure board, Bilal will provide a much-needed online space to speak openly about loss and begin tending to our grief.
Takeover - Racial + Social Justice
Wednesday 7 October
A member of KIN, an initiative aiming to bring black activists and organisers together from across the UK will host a takeover of the Arrivals + Departures boards on the theme of Racial and Social justice.
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.
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.