Zürich is a neat and (over) organised city in a neat and (over) organised country. And so are it’s cemeteries. In particular on a very sunny day in spring Friedhof Fluntern looks astonishing. But what I found far more interesting was the given that a complete funeral/cremation/burial is free of charge for the inhabitants of Zürich (cantonal law). The number of cremations is high (80%) and it is quite common to be buried in a ‘Gemeinschaftsgrab’ – a collective or communal grave. Here, urns are interred in a meadow-like space but their exact spot is not marked. Names of the deceased are added to a central monument or name wall. Also here you see how the bereaved try to attach special items to these names, to personalize them, to mark them.
Fieldnotes by Dr Claudia Venhorst