The Grim Reaper.

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"Death" should be added to the list of themes.

About two years ago a huge exhibition was hosted in Hamburg's biggest art museum, Die Kunsthalle, displaying paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. CDF, like many other Romantic painters has a fascination with death. They loved to paint things such as graveyards, skulls and tombstones.


Working in a hospital makes "death" a common issue in my daily work life, especially in the intensive care unit: How far should we go? How bad a life is worth living? How would the patient have liked to die? On the other hand, I find it shocking how little it is present in our normal life. We all know, our time is limited. We all know that the average life expectancy in the developed world is around 80 years, yet we are surprised, shocked, disturbed when somebody does happen to buy the farm at that age.

In a world dominated by youthfulness, there's a need to look at the other end of the life cycle.

The theme combines personal, political, ideological, religious and philosophic questions. And can be stretched into directions such as:
- Capital punishment - right or wrong?
- Euthanasia - right or wrong?
- How would you like to die? Young, old, fast, slow?
- Suicide - is it a last resort, an act of aggression or simply a lethal psychiatric disorder?

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Wasn't Death part of a 16-18 YM Theme hsoted by switzerland some years ago ? Karo (DE) was staff there I think, and there was some remarkrs from the parents before the camp about it... If anyone sees her, ask her to comment !

Clem, it may have been as well, but it was certainly the theme of a Hungarian IYM (I think it was 19+) roughly 4 years ago. I remember that Karola who was the NJR/Trustee at the time was very interested in this theme. It would be interesting to hear what the participants response was, from what I can remember I was quite varied

It is an interesting theme, and there are a lot of books and films which can support this. I like the idea of it being addressed in an IYM, one of the shorter camps, I can imagine how intense a theme such as that might be. However, at the same time, how do you get a group of participants to a level of trust and the ability to be very open in such as short space of time


I wonder how much trust would be needed for this compared to other themes. Afterall it isn't something that only a small group will have experienced for themselves... most will have known someone die and all are going to die.

I think it could actually be a theme that people are open to.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on June 7, 2010 4:27 PM.

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