Human beings have been philosophizing over death since our first ancestors gained unavoidable awareness of our impermanence.
Around the world, people have recognized the innate need for intellectual and emotional exploration around the inevitable. From Thailand's Kid Mai Death Cafe where Buddhist monks offer wisdom to casual coffee-drinkers, to annual Dia De Los Muertos festivals in South America that normalize dying and celebrate rememberance, to Korean Chuseok rituals that weave perspectives around dying into daily behavior-- death awareness and acknowledgement is being embraced as an integral part of life. For cultures that view discussion of death as offensive, casual meetings might provide an opportunity for community members to address fears and thoughts that might be taboo otherwise. It is also important to note, no perspective is better than another. Many find conversations around death helpful but that does not mean it is helpful or benevolent in all situations and through all cultural lenses.
For those of us that are separated from a society or lineage that holistically incorporates death into life, it can be incredibly beneficial to create designated groups for us to do so. The modern Westernized idea of a community meeting focused around death was popularized in the mid 1900's by Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz ("Cafe Mortel") and brought into the 21st century by Englishman John Underwood, donning the name "Death Cafe" and spreading the "social franchise" throughout the world. Simultaneous movements blossomed with "Death Over Dinner" in the US and "Death Salons" pioneered by "Ask a Mortician" professional Caitlin Doughty, who shares incredibly helpful information about many aspects of living and dying and building community. Wherever we look. we find people interested in exploring these ideas and creating a space to converse! How inspiring!
We want to do our part to shift the social attitudes toward death and make space for new ideas, feelings, and creative imagining.
transparency + donations
Cafe Mort is a labor of love currently run by one person, all expenses are out-of-pocket. Donations are not expected but greatly appreciated! Cafe Mort is a not-for-profit community organization, and all donations go toward maintenance and betterment of the group. Future plans include facilitation of Death Industry professionals for organized talks, art and creative writing workshops/exhibits, and concrete Mutual Aid movements within the community. If you see the importance of movements like this, throw us a bone or two!
Cafe Mort Cost breakdown:
14.00 / month website fees
15.00 / month Canva Premium
12.00 / year domain registration
TOTAL: 30.00 / month