Remembering Baby exhibition launches in London

Image of the Remembering Baby London launchA public exhibition that sensitively explores professional and parental encounters with death at the beginning of life has launched in London.

Remembering Baby: Life, Loss and Post-Mortem is a free, public exhibition inspired by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project End or Start of Life?, led by Dr Kate Reed from the Department of Sociological Studies.

The exhibition features visual images, physical objects and sound installations, produced by the team from the University of Sheffield, with the help of parents who have lost their child right at the start of life. It seeks to make these experiences more visible and features a collection of work that challenges taboos surrounding early life-loss – especially in relation to post-mortem.

At the heart of the exhibition is an acknowledgement that the death of a baby involves a simultaneous emergence and loss of personhood, which signifies both the beginning and end of life. This narrative runs throughout the exhibition and visitors are invited to identify this in the exhibits and to reflect on these themes.

Kate Reed, Reader in Medical Sociology, said: “We’re trying to challenge some of the taboos around early life loss, so as part of the research we talked to parents but we also talked to a range of professionals. One of the things that we want to show is the care and love that professionals give to babies during this process.
“Professionals treat these babies as their own, they sing to them, they care for them and we want to show that this kind of thing happens because it’s hidden in society.”

The exhibition was featured on BBC Radio 4’s PM show on Monday 6 November 2017. You can listen to the full feature here (the feature begins 45 minutes’ in).

The Remembering Baby exhibition runs at the Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, until 14 November 2017. It comes to Sheffield on 5 December 2017, when it will run at The Art House (8 Backfields, S1 4HJ) until 14 December 2017.

For more information

Visit the Remembering Baby website