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Living with Dementia at the time of COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring Creative Ethnographies and Collective Exhibitions in a Residential Structure for Elderly People. 
Martina Laganà (Università del Piemonte Orientale)
Gloria Frisone (Università degli Studi di Pavia)
Maria Virginia Moratti (Università degli Studi di Torino)
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Lanyon Building (LAN), 0G/049
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The workshop provides a space to develop inclusive forms of participatory action-research that can engage people with dementia. In this experimental ethnography workshop, taking place in a nursing home in Northern Italy, we will work together to reinterpret residents' life stories in visual forms.

Long Abstract:

From a methodological point of view, cultural anthropology has traditionally based his knowledge on ethnographic fieldwork, with the intention to highlighting the actors' "emic" perspective. Participative observations and interviews are supposed to promote the active participation of people in the research design, processing, and outcomes. However, to develop the real participation of individuals with dementia and to understand their perspectives and daily conditions, the classic ethnographical methods are not sufficient.

On this basis, we propose an experimental laboratory in which lab participants are guided using drawing to reworking the life stories of patients with dementia, collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a clinical structure for dementia care. The products of the lab will later be shared with the residents.

These permanent artifacts could facilitate the inclusion of research participants in the anthropological knowledge process, making them accessible the reconstructions of ethnographic materials. Finally, the project aims at queering the ageist representation about dementia as a form of mental decline, passivity, and loss of self. This work also explores the possibility of subverting the subaltern conditions of elderly people and develop the hopes to imagine people with dementia simply as human beings that can live a good life.

As the lab is open to a maximum of 12 participants we invite you to register via this form:

Moreover we invite you to bring pencils and papers.