Birthday by Sam Winston



by Sam Winston
27-29 January 2012

By the time you’ve read this sentence three people have been born into the world.

By the time you’ve read this sentence two will have passed away.

By the time you’ve lived through this twelve-hour day there will be 100,000 more children on the planet.

And in the same twelve hours 70,000 people will have passed away.

Sam Winston, as part of Death: A Festival for the Living at Southbank Centre, created a pop-up registry office that invited participants to record births and deaths representing the 250,000 births and deaths across the world in a 12 hour period. 2,500 people contributed to the work over the course of the festival weekend.

“ was also impossible not to feel the amount of vibrancy and energy from all the contributions. It seems from within all that blackness – death becomes the greatest affirmation to life. I saw my brother celebrate his soon to be born child as well as a host of others rejoice in their new births….by the end of those three days – even the shadows began to tell stories

Sam Winston

My own son Barnaby Max was born shortly after this project took place. Having chosen his name prior to his birth I pre-registered his existence as part of Sam’s work.