Life Before Death

  • Exhibition
Photograph of a visitor exploring the exhibition, Life Before Death, at Wellcome Collection.
Life Before Death exhibition, Dave Sayer. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC.

Nothing teaches us more about life itself than death.

Journalist Beate Lakotta and photographer Walter Schels asked 24 terminally ill people if they could accompany them during their last weeks and days. From these vigils came a series of insightful descriptions and photographic portraits taken before and after death. Far from being gloomy, these intimate concerns of the dying revealed the preciousness and transience of life, prompting viewers to question what they had often before taken for granted.