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Death is something we have become accustomed to disguising through the preservation of the deceased. When our loved ones die, they are embalmed and viewed at the casket and we pretend that they are sleeping. When cremated, we store their ashes to have a piece of them with us. By preserving our deceased, we have turned our loved ones into a commodity. The intention of this investigation is to contest this notion.

In the imposed context of the Waking City analogy, this relationship with death would change. The popular euphemism for death would no longer be applicable as sleep would be a foreign concept to the residents of our precinct. Death would become a harsh reality to accept. By creating a new ritual, this mindset can be altered.

Through Arnold van Gennep’s concept of liminality, the ritual of the mourner is brought to attention. The liminal stage of the ritual involves the ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals where one no longer holds the pre-ritual status but has not begun the transition to the status held when the ritual is complete.

Van Gennep identifies a three-part sequential structure in the initiation process. The first is the preliminal rites or rites of separation in which the initiate undergoes a metaphorical death. The second, the liminal rites or transitional rites involve the creation of a tabula rasa. The final post liminal rites or rites of incorporation involves the initiate being reintroduced to society. This sequential process manifests itself through the movement of the mourners and the spaces (events) they are exposed to.

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