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The Artists' Grief Deck

The ARTISTS’ GRIEF DECK is an art-based toolkit to support the need for communal grieving in the context of enforced isolation.

A resource by Artists' Literacies Institute

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COVID-19 presents a unique challenge, among natural disasters, to human culture. Loss is experienced on numerous levels, and it is ongoing. It is not geographically specific, and so there is no ‘getting out’ of the affected area to recuperate and heal. As it takes an enormous toll in human life, it also prevents us from gathering together to mourn, interrupting rituals of grieving across all cultures.

A response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The ARTISTS’ GRIEF DECK is a set of 60 medium format ‘flashcards’ that are individually designed by artists, sometimes in collaboration with grief workers. One side displays an original artwork, created by artists from around the world responding to our open call, and on the reverse is a ‘grieving prompt.’ These are memorial and processual actions that give the individual something to do – a gesture, a tiny performance, a movement, an act of mindfulness – in memoriam for someone or something whose loss they are grieving.

The Artists' Grief Deck is available as a free online resource at, or you can order a printed edition (in English for now, Spanish version is in the works!) here.


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