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Royal London – Lost For Words

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Royal London, the financial services mutual, has partnered with renowned British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin to create a free digital exhibition, Lost for Words, to encourage conversation around death.

As we continue to live through a global pandemic the subject of death is more prevalent than ever, with statistics and data on a daily death tolls a staple part of news broadcasts. But it’s the harsh reality of personal loss that weighs more heavily than any facts and figures ever can.

Royal London and Rankin are attempting to change the way we think about our own mortality and the mortality of our loved ones. Lost for Words, which launched this week, aims to encourage a vital dialogue on bereavement, to honour those we have lost and help us enjoy the time we have with those we love. 

The show is a new digital exhibition, shot by Rankin, made up of a series of photographs of people superimposed next to images of loved ones they have lost, bringing together the departed and those left behind. It also includes an interview series and short film [above, also directed by Rankin] discussing the importance of talking about death and planning for the inevitable.

“What if ‘the conversation’ wasn’t so difficult?" said Rankin. "What if it was easier, reassuring, funny, joyful? What if it conjured memories of a full and happy life, rather than existential panic? It’s time to change the narrative.”

The exhibition puts people who have experienced the loss of a loved one at its heart and it is sharing the stories of a few familiar faces: Gloria Hunniford, Ashley Walters, Konnie Huq, Malin Andersson, Divina De Campo, John Stapleton and Jeff Brazier, who have joined the campaign to speak about their experience dealing with grief. 

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