Pandemic-induced deathscapes: end-of-life, funerary and bereavement challenges for British-Bangladeshi Muslims

Farjana Islam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, end-of-life rituals and funerals across groups of all faiths and none took on a new character due to government-imposed measures to control disease transmission. This article aims to explore the challenges faced by British-Bangladeshi Muslims in relation to performing end-of-life, funeral, and mourning rituals during the first pandemic wave, underpinned by the perception of a ‘good death’. This group was among those disproportionately affected by Covid-19-related mortality and morbidity. Contextualising the study within a review of the literature on deathscapes and shifting policy responses to multicultural populations in the UK, and using an in-depth qualitative research approach, the article highlights the ways in which pre-existing challenges facing individuals seeking Islamic end-of-life, funeral and bereavement rituals have been exacerbated by Covid-19. The article offers new empirical and conceptual insights into the spatio-temporal dimension of end-of-life and funerary practices performed by British-Bangladeshi Muslims to achieve a good death and the changing nature of embodied and virtual deathscapes triggered by the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-427
Number of pages19
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Volume24
Issue number3-4
Early online date9 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • British-Bangladeshi
  • Covid-19
  • deathscapes
  • funeral
  • good death
  • Muslims

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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