L Cull Ó Maoilearca et al: Creative Grief Practices

02nov11:3013:00L Cull Ó Maoilearca et al: Creative Grief Practices11:30 - 13:00(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typeWorkshopTopicRites & RitualsSession ID: Session 6A


(Tuesday) 11:30 - 13:00(GMT+00:00) View in my time

Event Details


Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, Will Daddario & Joanne Zerdy & Siegmar Zacharias: Creative grief practices

The workshop will be structured around a sharing of creative grief practices, with 2 core participatory sessions facilitated by Will Daddario & Joanne Zerdy / Inviting Abundance (USA); Siegmar Zacharias (Berlin), with an interludes of readings by Laura Cull O Maoilearca. The contributors have been drawn together through a solidarity of lived experience and common concerns: including personal loss; a sense of the aesthetic, philosophical and ethico- political potential of grief as not-knowing; a perception of the need to invent new creative and embodied grieving practices; and a commitment to thinking human grief in an ecological context – through plant knowledge and alongside species extinction.

In the first session, building on the workshops they lead as Inviting Abundance, Will and Joanne propose to offer two specific practices: 1) Introductory and welcome practice: Tea Drinking. Joanne will introduce Linden Tea (Cold-brewed linden tea) — which is cooling, moistening, and often used to calm the nervous system; placed in the context of the relevant history of the Linden tree. Will will then offer a Tea Drinking Mindfulness Meditation (based on raisin eating meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn). 2) Will and Joanne will offer an Embodied grief activity based on the game “Colombian Hypnosis” developed by Brazilian theatre pioneer and politician, Augusto Boal. By way of interlude, Laura Cull O Maoilearca will offer a reading and a sharing of images from an artists book project Bestiary. Informed by illuminated manuscripts and the idea of nonhuman animal life as a source of ethical instruction, Bestiary performs grief work through creative writing and collage-making: considering species extinction alongside and entangled with the experience of personal loss: the death of Laura’s father in February 2019.

Siegmar Zacharias will offer a Somacoustic listening session which will focus on Listening with the body as a place to be with grief collectively and individually. Let’s listen together with our bodies. Bring something heavy that you can place on your body or hold in you hand. Bring a hot water bottle and a blanket. Listen with headphones. Listen with eyes closed, or listen in the dark. The binaural listening session explores intimacy and alienation as two dynamic forces of grief work and the possibility to touch by soundwaves and the presence of those absent. Participants will receive a grief-package/toolkit in the post in advance of the workshop and/or after the workshop to create a shared physicality (depending on our evolving process, this may include directives, teas, oils for self-massage and touch etc.).

As the contributors leading the workshop, we would like to use the process of preparing for Borrowed Time as a structure through which to engage in collective research and development into creative grief practices – and particularly, our shared interest in the relationships between experiences of grief in the context of personal loss, collective grief and ecological grief. In order to explore these ideas, and to develop our understanding of each others’ practices, we will enter into a four-way correspondence: exchanging voice messages with one another in the months preceding the workshop. Appreciating the intimacy, embodiment and sense of place that often comes with the form of the voice messages, we have agreed that the correspondence need not adopt the logic of question and answer, but more of stimulus and response – where a message do not need a direct reply, so much as to act as a new lines of thought. Depending on how the process unfolds, this exchange might also be shared alongside the workshop – as a podcast or online ‘talk’.

Speakers for this event

  • Joanne Zerdy

    Joanne Zerdy

    Director, Inviting Abundance

    Joanne Zerdy, Ph.D., attained a MS degree in Literature from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and a doctorate in Theatre Arts (with a concentration in historiography) from the University of Minnesota. She is the co-editor of Performing Objects and Theatrical Things and has authored several essays about environmental art and Scottish theatre, performance, and politics. After the death of her son Finlay in 2014, she turned away from academia and towards permaculture design and herbal studies, earning certificates in both. Joanne currently writes about topics related to grief and education; she has authored pieces for Still Standing Magazine, Mindfulness & Grief, Modern Loss, and the blog of her business Inviting Abundance (invitingabundance.net/blog).

    URL http://invitingabundance.net/blog

    Director, Inviting Abundance

  • Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

    Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

    DAS Graduate School of the Academy of Theatre and Dance, Amsterdam

    Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca is a writer and researcher. She is Head of DAS Graduate School at the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam. She is currently leading the AHRC- funded project, Performance Philosophy & Animals: Towards a Radical Equality. She works closely with Will Daddario as a core convener of the international network Performance Philosophy, and as co-editor with him of both the Performance Philosophy journal and book series.

    URL https://invitingabundance.net/grief-work

    DAS Graduate School of the Academy of Theatre and Dance, Amsterdam

  • Siegmar Zacharias

    Siegmar Zacharias

    Performance artist-researcher

    Siegmar Zacharias is a performance artist and a researcher. Her works produce situations of embodied visceral thinking/being together through matters and matter. They develop formats of performances, immersive installations, discursive encounters and curations, dealing with questions of generative ethical dynamics of transformation. She collaborates with human and non-humans, uncontrollable material, such as smoke, slime, the nervous system and death and grief. Recent works include: Training for political imaginaries: ANIMAterialities - The Future if Grief. Training for political imaginaries: Intimacy with Death. Training for political imaginaries: Posthuman Solidarities. (a series of durational immersive symposia with artists, activists, theorists), Drooling Lecture Series (a series of performance lectures researching fluid ways of thinking in collaboration with slime, saliva and a voice box); Slime Dynamics; The Cloud: a cosmo-choreography made by animals, vegetables, minerals, humans, concepts and emotions.; Dirty thinking; invasive hospitality. She holds a TECHNE scholarship for excellency and innovative research to pursue her PhD project: Intimacy & Alienation – learning from uncontrollable materials. Towards a posthumous feminist poET(H)ICS. She is training as an end of life doula with Livingwelldyingwell and is preparing a grief- garden project.

    Performance artist-researcher

  • Will Daddario

    Will Daddario


    Will Daddario, Ph.D., is a founding member of the international research organization Performance Philosophy and co-editor of both the Performance Philosophy Book Series and the online Performance Philosophy journal (performancephilosophy.org/journal). He has edited two collections of essays devoted to the topics of performance, activism, and philosophy; currently editing two volumes dedicated to performance, poetry, and literature; currently finishing a monograph focusing on the work of African American poet Jay Wright; published a monograph entitled Baroque, Venice, Theatre, Philosophy; and authored numerous essays and book chapters. On the topic of grief, Will has published the chapbook To Grieve (Ugly Duckling Presse, published in 2016 and reprinted in 2018), two posts for Still Standing Magazine, and many blog posts for his business Inviting Abundance. To Grieve has been reviewed on the blogs The Bookbinder’s Daughter (US) and roughghosts (Canada); interviews with Will about To Grieve appear in Tupelo Quarterly (2017) and the Ugly Duckling Presse blog (2016). In 2017, Joanne and Will co-founded Inviting Abundance, which provides grief work, educational, and Reiki healing support both on the ground in Asheville, NC and through online classes and mentorship, distance Reiki sessions, two podcasts, and a blog. Our podcast series, To Grieve, has produced ten episodes featuring artists, musicians, grief workers, and organizations working in the creative and/or healing arts; and we have plans to produce additional episodes in 2021.