Friday, 8 April 2011

'Age to Age' Seminar on Reminissance Theatre

An interesting part of today's seminar i felt was the highlight upon the ethical jurisdiction  that the programme managers put upon themselves when working with different age groups. throughout today's workshops there was a strong emphasis on the ethical boundaries that should always be apparent in this type of work. David (Savill) even made a clear point that in 1998 the company (Age Exchange) refused to work anymore with venerable elders without having their carers present and working with the programme.  He said that it was irresponsible to raise the hopes of theses people, only to then leave them where they first left off when the funding runs out.  I am in total agreement with this and from an artistic perspective i have a great respect for an artistic director to admit responsibility and keep it as a work ethic. At college i feel that this is something that is constantly challenged and questioned- why i have such a strong ethical boundary to keep 'the people who i work with' away from 'my work' - As it was described today in the context of recording and making a play out of memories (which i believe to be a very apt description) is - I come to listen to you and your memories and i make work. But the work is an outcome. You always come first.

I must say, without getting to soppy, it was a really enlightening experience today to be surrounded by people who really believe in and want to do 'good' for venerable people- but not in a patronising way, a way in which every participant is treated as an individual. There was a lady helping to run the seminar today called Susan Langford who spoke today about her processes into creating 'Magicme'- which has been running now for 20 years creating intergenerational projects across the country, she was actually awarded an MBE for all of her work- a lady to look up to.

One new programme that Magicme is running at the moment is called 'cocktails in carehomes'- which is exactly what it says on the tin. What a fabulous idea, who wouldn't enjoy that concept? I would really like to go along to one- its not just entertainment for old people which you would appropriate with an ordinary carehome project, it is a fun atmosphere where older people can reminisce and communicate with volunteers of all ages who also enjoy themselves.

I think today's emphasis of having fun in intergenerational work has totally won me over. There is no way i could fault any  of the company's that were running the seminar.

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