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The Departure Lounge, Credit: tdcpr

Pop-up shops are tackling a taboo issue

“The Departure Lounge” at Lewisham shopping center in London deals with dying.

The pop-up shop “The Departure Lounge” engages the public about the taboo topic of death and dying and how to have a “good death”–at a time when the numbers of UK deaths are set to rise by an extra 100,000/year by 2040 due to its ageing population.

Visitors in Lewisham shopping center to the pop-up, which is open until June 7, 2019, find themselves in an airport departure lounge where suitcases tell stories of lives well lived and luggage tags reveal how medical science has changed the way we die. Furthermore, they see an interactive life-size departures board which answers pertinent questions about death and explore what matters most at the end of life personally, and for their loved ones. Visitors can go to the departure gates and have the opportunity to talk to a diverse range of experts in end of life care and death and dying research. And they may share their hopes and fears about their end of life scenario and plans. 

Created by The Academy of Medical Sciences and public engagement specialists The Liminal Space, the airport-themed installation has been created to debunk the myths associated with death. The timing of the exhibition coincides with Dying Matters Awareness Week.