Grief Leisure

Event status:

A LAVAWN event with A/Prof Elspeth Frew and Dr Kirsty Forsdike

Thursday 21 November 2019 12:30 pm until Thursday 21 November 2019 01:30 pm (Add to calendar)
Jess Ison
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Grief Leisure: public candlelight vigils in Melbourne in response to violence against women

With A/Prof Elspeth Frew and Dr Kirsty Forsdike

We are developing a project that considers the concept of “grief leisure” through examining the phenomena of candlelight vigils in response to high profile deaths of women killed in Melbourne in the last couple of years.

We aim to examine this phenomenon in the context of leisure practice. The candlelight vigils were mostly attended by Melbourne citizens engaging in a freely chosen activity during their non-obligated time within their home environment. Such an activity, or “dark event”, could be recognised as reflecting the phenomenon of “grief leisure” with a strong political undertone of protest against violence against women in Australian society. Dark events are usually considered one aspect of the phenomenon of dark tourism; when individuals travel outside of their home environment to tourist locations that are associated with death or suffering (for example, the annual memorial held at Ground Zero in New York). Travel to attend these sites and events has also been described as thanatourism (which is taken from the word ‘thanatopsis’ meaning ‘contemplation of death’).

The project will investigate, through publicly accessible social media formats, Melbourne residents’ attendance at such candle-lit vigils in response to the violent deaths of women. We propose to explore the candle-lit vigils as a leisure related phenomenon that may assist in the grieving process as well as a political movement. We also consider the concept of “vigil fatigue” and the implications for political movements and our community.

Time and venue

21 November 2019
12:30 - 1:30 pm

LAVAWN: La Trobe Violence Against Women Research Network

La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, George Singer Building: level 3, room 335

George Singer Building, La Trobe University



21st Oct 2020 4:00pm

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