Monday, 22 April 2013

Suicide Walk

Over eight days in April and May 2013, we are walking the length of the South Downs Way, starting in Winchester and ending at Beachy Head, a notorious suicide spot. During this journey, we will be joined by a changing cast of people who offer a range of perspectives - personal, cultural, medical, scientific, historical, spiritual - on suicide and euthanasia.
We are inviting people to join the walk and conversation as part of a series of events that take place along the route. At a time when assisted suicide, euthanasia and end of life care are hot topics of debate, this 100-mile conversation is intended as a way of working collectively to imagine how and why we choose to end our lives - and to think again about how society regards these challenging issues.
Suicide as Protest
Winchester to Holden Farm via Twyford Down
The journey begins in the Black Boy pub, where we meet protesters involved in the campaign to save nearby Twyford Down from the M3 motorway.
Day 2
The History of Suicide
Holden Farm to the Sustainability Centre via Old Winchester Hill
On our second day, we take a historical view of suicide and visit some of the ancient burial mounds found along the length of the South Downs Way with local archaeologists.
Day 3
Walking as Therapy
Sustainability Centre to Gumber Farm
The day starts with a visit to the Natural Burial Centre, before we take turns at walking with a psychoanalyst and a shaman to explore our personal perspectives on suicide.
Day 4
Suicide in Farming Communities
Gumber Farm to Chanctonbury Ring
We walk and talk with volunteers from the Farm Crisis Network, a charity that seeks to address the high suicide rate among rural communities.
Day 5
Music and Suicide
Chanctonbury Ring to Devil’s Dyke
At dawn on May Day, we watch the Chanctonbury Morris Men perform on top of the Downs and talk to local folk musicians about traditional songs that deal with death and loss.
Day 6
Assisted Suicide
Devil’s Dyke to Lewes via Ditchling Beacon 
The first of our public events sets out to explore the current debate about assisted suicide with anthropologist Naomi Richards and sociologist Clive Searle.
Day 7
Suicide, Gender and Art
Lewes to Alfriston via Rodmell
We are joined by historian Chris Millard and biographer Lyndall Gordon to discuss Virginia Woolf’s suicide at Rodmell, and to question how suicide is presented in relation to the lives and work of female artists and writers.

Day 8
Preventing Suicide
Alfriston to Beachy Head
Our journey ends where the South Downs Way meets the English Channel at Beachy Head, the highest chalk cliff in England. We discuss the history of the site as a suicide spot with local artists, volunteers and psychologists.


  1. I did not know that in rural communities have higher suicide rates. I meet a lot of victims of suicide and its a terrible situation for families.

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