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The Self: Towards A Method for Queering Death: An Identity Testament
University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Department of Design, Interior Architecture and Visual Communication (DIV), Industrial Design.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

“The Self: Towards A Method for Queering death” is an identity testament, a speculative method for designing the space of your own funeral before you die. It is a format to create a fair memorial of a person’s identity that does not feel welcome or fits in the current formats of burial ceremonies we have in Sweden today, usually connected to Christianity or other religious traditions. Even the secular burial traditions of Sweden today have a very clear traditional format and aesthetic that can be intimidating to a lot of members of society. “The Self” is also a method to relegate the power of narrative to whom it belongs.  “The Self “is executed through this thesis, a sacred document, a spatial installation and a film, showing a possible scenario of a burial ceremony as a result of the method of the identity testament.

This thesis demonstrates and problematizes the secular burial traditions in Sweden and how the common rituals are still based on the norms of Christianity, heteronormativity and traditional values, and why this is oppressing a lot of individuals in society. It does so by using a speculative method of an identity testament, which gives every human the right to own the narrative about their persona and who they were to the afterlife. It also problematizes the hierarchies and norms in society of what “family” means, and how consanguinity is valued by state and law. The term “queer” or “queering” is used in multiple ways, both as an adjective (being queer, a queer community, a queer sexual identity) but also as a verb or an adverb, as in the method used by the Queer Death Studies Network. The content of this thesis consists of texts, pictures, research in form of written sources and interviews, queer theory, descriptive design methods and descriptions of a sculptural exploration and spatial installation as well as a motion picture. The thesis asks and answers questions such as: How could a new type of burial ceremony - based on our secular beliefs in contemporary Sweden – look, feel and be arranged to be more connected to what we can relate as religion today? Is it possible to create an organized system to collect information about a person´s identity to be used as a formal ground to create a fair burial ceremony after the person’s death?

The analysis focuses upon speculative ideas about what could happen if every person had a right to state a will for their intangible possessions and assets as well as their physical ones. The thesis also goes through multiple examples of cases of queer deaths where there have been strong needs to arrange an alternative funeral to feel safe and comfortable. Finally, the thesis reflects upon how this method could be used and if it really could be applied to society, and if so, who would be able to use it?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 32
Keywords [en]
Speculative, Method, Design, Master Project, Death, Burial, Ceremonies, Sculpture, Scenery, Film, Wax, Moulding, Testament
National Category
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-6858OAI: oai:DiVA.org:konstfack-6858DiVA, id: diva2:1322291
Educational program
Design - Individual Study Plan in Design (Master)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-06-10 Last updated: 2019-07-02Bibliographically approved

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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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