Living and Dying
- By: Suneeta Kochhar
Living and Dying is a new exhibition that successfully uses the British Museum's ethnography collection to illustrate how people around the world deal with adversity in their lives. The exhibition considers how people achieve a state of wellbeing and how they consider death. Artefacts ranging from items from Sir Henry Wellcome's collection to contemporary paper sculptures show how wellbeing is often interpreted from an individual's viewpoint and the condition of the human body. Diagnosis and means of dealing with diseases are exemplified as intriguing objects.
Case studies from the Bolivian Andes to the Nicobar Islands highlight wellbeing as related to relationships within a community and with spirits or the earth in a culturally acceptable way. According to Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, different approaches to living and dying reflect the ways that different people understand their world. For example, life and death in the developed world is largely