Title: The Virtual Wake in Brazil
Andréia got her Bachelor Degree in Social Communication with emphasis on Journalism (2009), and her Masters in Anthropology (2013) from the Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil. She has been awarded a Graduate School Scholarship to be able to study the Virtual Wakes in Brazil at the University of Bath.
Before starting her PhD in October 2014, Andréia worked as a reporter for a news website (2013-14) and as a communication advisor for a Human Rights NGO (2009-14), both in the city of João Pessoa, Brazil.
In Brazil, as in most Western countries, management of the dead has become professionalized; funerals have become smaller, more private. Thus death is removed from everyday life and hidden from society. Contemporary media and especially the internet however, have the potential to relocate death and mourning back into a more public, or at least communal, space. The Brazilian virtual wake, in which any stranger can watch a deceased person's 24 or 12 hour wake in real time via the internet, represents a dramatic, technologically-enabled re-framing of public and private. Why are people doing so?
Studying this phenomenon will contribute to an emerging global research field documenting and analysing how digital technology is changing the social landscape, not least the landscape of death. Online streaming of funerals and internet memorial sites have been researched in various countries, but the virtual wake possibly only occurs in Brazil and the USA, and has just started to be researched.
Activities and outputs
Martins, A (2011). 'Audiences of death - between real and virtual funeral wakes'. Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Historica, Issue Special, pp 343-356. 1 Decembrie 1918 University Alba Iulia. Alba Iulia, Romania.
September 2013, 'Main reasons to watch the wake of someone I have never known - Points of view of the "Dead People Profiles" community users', Dying and Death in 18th-21st Century Europe. International Conference, Sixth Edition; 1 Decembrie 1918 University Alba Iulia, Alba Iulia, Romania
November 2012, 'Virtually observing who virtually observes the dead: an online ethnography'. 3rd International Death Day, University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom
November 2012, 'Virtually observing who virtually observes the dead: an online ethnography'. 9th Global Conference Dying and Death a Making Sense Of: Project Interdisciplinary.Net, Salzburg, Austria.
September 2012, 'Virtually observing who virtually observes the dead: an online ethnography'. Dying and Death in 18th-21st Century Europe. International Conference, Fifth Edition; 1 Decembrie 1918 University Alba Iulia, Alba Iulia, Romania.
July 2012, 'Funeral Spectacle - the significance of the dead body in virtuality'. Brazilian Reunion of Anthropology, Brazilian Association of Anthropology, Pontíficia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
October 2011, 'Seeing the death of others - the dead body as a sign in virtuality'. Primer Encuentro sobre Antroposemiotica de la Muerte y el Morir. Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Misiones, Argentina
September 2011, 'Liquid Death - Discussing and demystifying the end of life through the Virtual Wakes', XXVII International Congress of the Latin-American Sociological Association Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil