Our hearts in the balance
Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian
Book of the Dead
Our hearts in the balance – a reference to the ancient Egyptian belief that the hearts of the dead would be weighed in the afterlife – was a project connected to the British Museum exhibition.
Community events draw in those whom the British Museum might not normally reach, bringing groups into the Museum or working with them off-site. On this project, the Museum worked with three groups: Modernisation Initiative for End of Life Care, Rosetta Life and the National Theatre Studio. Using storytelling and music, the team worked with care home residents and their carers to develop a script addressing how we prepare for death and what we wish to leave behind.
On 27 November 2010, alongside a community evening preview of the exhibition – itself about death and the afterlife in Ancient Egypt – the group performed the work in the Great Court, the Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying and the Asia gallery.
The heart-felt connections between those participating, their carers, families and friends, and spectators who were welcome to watch made for a moving performance on an issue many are uncomfortable discussing. The night was a joyous rendering of the important ideas and beliefs the collection represents, not just for past societies but for all of us today.
A performance from the Our hearts in the balance project.