Art-meets-science project about death in the spotlight

Date of news: 14 June 2021

Recently the art-meets-science project This body that once was you started, an art installation which helps people reduce their fears of death. The attention for the project is overwhelming, says professor of communication and influencing Enny Das.

01_Ilya Rabinovich_internet
This body that once was you in Felix Meritis. Photo by Ilya Rabinovich.

To study people's attitudes towards death, people will undergo a profound Buddhist visualisation ritual that is said to help reduce the fear of death. This happens in the Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, in the art installation This body that once was you by Babs Bakels and Vibeke Mascini, in which people sit alone on a chair in a large hall filled with human bone dust and listen to an audio installation. More than sixty people have now ventured into the ritual. Professor Enny Das: 'The participants are enthusiastic. We notice that people are a bit scared, but at the same time they are curious about the experience.’


Various media have already paid attention to the intriguing project, including de Telegraaf, het Parool, de Volkskrant and Radio 1. Articles will soon be published in other national newspapers. Das: ‘We kind of expected that attention. We have noticed that this is a resonating topic. The corona crisis may have brought death a little more to the surface of the subconscious.' The art-meets-science project is a spin-off of Das' research project Beyond a Fear of Death.

Online survey

Tuesday 15 June is the last day of the project in Felix Meritis. The online research will go on. Das: 'We would like to call on people who were unable to come to Amsterdam to participate. That way they can still get a piece of the experience.'

Take part in the online survey!