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"The Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz writes of the imperative to liberate death from what he calls ‘tyrannical secrecy’ — tyrannical, presumably, because whatever we remain quiet about enslaves us to our fears.
In his 2010 book, Cafés Mortels: Sortir la Mort du Silence, or ‘bringing death out of silence’, he addresses the shameful irony of how, in our modern, Western society of communication, ‘people have secrets that bully’. Crettaz has been hosting cafés morsels — social gatherings that put death at the centre of conversation — since 2004, in salons, bistros and private houses across Switzerland and France.
In 2011 they were imported to the UK by a British Buddhist called Jon Underwood, and renamed Death Cafés. Around 1,000 people have so far attended Death Cafés in England, Wales, the US, Canada, Australia and Italy."