About

The project

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”The only things certain in life are death and taxes,” said Benjamin Franklin. Death certainly is part of the human condition and one of the few events we all share, across cultures and borders, albeit we address it in very different ways. The Dead and Alive project will combine photo art with anthropological and ethnological dissemination through an open exhibit and a book that will introduce at least 15 chosen death rituals from Europe and the rest of the world. The project is intended to contribute to public debate, encourage conversations about death, and allow people to familiarise themselves with the topic in more depth.

In some places – like Denmark – death is taboo, in other places death and the deceased are natural parts of the life of the living. The background for this project is also the desire to show how death rituals often reflect life. With its selection of different death and burial rituals, visitors to the exhibit and readers of the book will gain insight into how much any given culture’s values, hopes and dreams are reflected in their thoughts about death and life after death, and how differently we treat our dead from culture to culture.

Explore The Project


The photographer


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Klaus Bo is an autodidact professional freelance photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. From the very beginning of his career, Klaus has been focusing on social and cultural stories, documenting on many different issues, including Iraqi refugees living in Syria, the Coptic garbage city in Egypt, the masked women of southern Iran, the Holi festival in India, the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, refugees in Tunisia fleeing Libya and many more. He has been working with organisations as CARE (Niger, Nepal), Doctors Without Borders (Haiti) and lately with Danish Refugee Council (Iraq, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti).

In 2010/2011 Klaus began working on what has become his life’s work – the Dead and Alive Project, documenting death rituals and how we relate to death around the world. Until now, he has been photographing death rituals and stories related to death in Greenland, Haiti, Guatemala, The Philippines, Nepal, India, Ghana, Madagascar and Denmark.




Exhibitions

Picture Of the Year 2017 (Denmark) – Exhibition at selected venues
Liv&Død (national association on life and death) – Travelling With Death – a selection of 23 images
Copenhagen Photo Festival (Fotocaféen) – India; Consumed by Fire
Picture Of the Year 2015 (Denmark) – Exhibition at selected venues
Moesgaard Museum – Ghana

Print

Picture Of the Year 2017 (Denmark) – catalogue
Publico (Portugese newspaper) – about the project
Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish Christian daily) – about the project and the exhibition at Liv&Død
Politiken 2017 (Danish daily) – about the project and the exhibition at Liv&Død
Politiken 2012 (Danish daily) – about the rituals in Varanasi
UD&SE (Danish railway magazine) – about the project
Magasinet Ekstra (weekly magazine) – 5 articles about India, Ghana, Nepal, Haiti and Danmark
Weekendavisen (Danish weekly newspaper) – about exhibition at Moesgaard Museum
Fotografiska (Swedish Museum of Photography) – short mention of the project
Picture Of the Year 2015 (Denmark) – catalogue

Contests

Award of Excellence – Picture Of the Year international
Picture Of the Year 2017 – 2. Prize – with images from Indonesia
Picture Of the Year 2015 – 2. Prize – with a selection of images from different countries

Online

Magasinet Ekstra – 5 articles about 5 diferent rituals
p3.publico.pt – about the projektet
pov.international – The Man Who Travelled with Death – #1 og #2
National Geographic – 30 images from different rituals

Television

DR P1 (Danish National Radio) – interview about the project and how we relate to death
TV2 – (Danish National Television) – interview about the project and exhibition at Liv&Død
DR (Danish National Television) – about different rituals
TV København (local television) – interview about the project
Et Spejl På Livet (A Mirror On Life) – short documentary by student at Grundtvigs Højskole

Talks

Liv&Død (national association on life and death) – for the board
2018 – Tølløse Kirke (church)
2017 + 2018 Liv&Død (national association on life and death) – 6 talks – sold out
2017 – Pressefotografforbundets Konference (Danish Press Photographers Union’s conference)
2017 – Hospice Sjælland (a hospice on Zealand) – for the staff
2017 – Ellevang Kirke (church)
2017 – AOF (night school) – 4 talks

Others

2018 – CPH:DOX – Panel debate on grief – public event.

Travels

2018 – Indonesia
2017 – Indonesia
2017 – Denmark
2016 – The Philippines
2015 – Madagascar
2015 – Guatemala
2015 – Ghana
2014 – Nepal
2013 – Nepal
2013 – Romania (research)
2012 – Denmark, Anholt (research)
2012 – India (twice)
2011 – Haiti
2009 – Greenland