April 2014 § Leave a comment
Walking and Wandering
Reminiscence Artists in Residential Dementia Care Settings
30th April @ 5.00pm
My practice-based PhD explores the aesthetic, sensory and social qualities of reminiscence arts practice with people with dementia who live in care homes. Reminiscence arts is a term coined by Age Exchange Theatre Trust to describe their workshops or 1-1 sessions with people with dementia. Reminiscence arts practice evokes and inspires participants’ memory and imagination through activities, techniques and knowledge deriving from dance, visual arts, theatre and music practices. My research involves observations of Age Exchange’s reminiscence arts workshops and reminiscence arts projects that I design and deliver myself.
My research compares walking outdoors with walking indoors in a care home to investigate the sensory, spatial and aesthetic experiences that are and are not available within the care setting environment. Taking walking as a physical act and as a metaphor for virtual journeys undertaken in the memory or imagination, I explore the ways that reminiscence arts enables care home residents to experience things from outside the care setting, for example, from other places or times.
This paper draws comparisons between artist Richard Long’s recreation in gallery spaces of walks he took in the countryside with methods reminiscence arts practitioners use to evoke outdoor activities and environments in care homes. It focuses on how the spatial, sensory and aesthetic qualities of the experiences transfer between the outdoor and indoor environment. It questions how much and what type of information is needed to give an idea or sense of an experience.
Jayne Lloyd a practice-based PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London, sponsored by Age Exchange Theatre Trust. Her research explores the use of reminiscence and inter-disciplinary arts practices (theatre, music, fine art and dance) with older people with dementia living in care settings. The research focuses on Reminiscence Arts and Dementia – Impact on Quality of Life (RADIQL), a three year programme created by Age Exchange and funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity. Jayne graduated from Byam Shaw, St Martin’s, University of the Arts London, with an MA in Fine Art in 2010. She is an installation artist and has a studio with Bow Arts Trust. She regularly exhibits and completes site-specific commissions and residencies both nationally and internationally. Recent residencies include the Breathe Residency, 501 Arts Space, Chongqing, China, 2013 and Houserules, a six week residency in an empty office block in East India Dock, 2014. She has 10 years’ experience in community engagement, development and facilitation roles, working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, age groups and with a range of learning needs. Prior to starting the PhD, she worked as part of a research team led by Professor Helen Nicholson evaluating Age Exchange’s reminiscence arts projects in SLAM care settings across South London.
April 2014 § Leave a comment
Guilt and Shame in the Oral Narratives of the Bhavins of Goa
30th April @ 6.00pm
‘Therein lies, for us, its (storytelling) real moral … perhaps the narrator thinks he is producing only variations on a theme, whereas he actually ends up telling us what is in his heart’ – Italo Calvino Italian Folktales (Penguin, 2000)
‘She did not like these things… she was ashamed, but there was no support…our parents pushed (her) into it…it was our tradition, our vocation… they (the parents) threatened to kill themselves if she did not do her duty, there was no choice.’ – On his sister’s life as a Bhavin, Interview with K (December 2013)
My PhD explores the oral history of the divine prostitutes (Bhavins) of Goa – a sect of women who were dedicated to a local deity in their prepubescent age and subsequently maintained as mistresses by the priests and rich landlords of the village. There are no written records about the history of the Bhavins. Their history is entirely preserved in oral sources and their narratives.
This presentation will focus on an oral history interview I conducted in Mumbai on December 2013 with an interviewee, K, who gave me a first-hand account of his sister’s life as a divine prostitute. Through this presentation, I hope to explore the intersubjective relationship between the narrator and his audience within the storytelling process with reference to feelings of guilt and shame experienced by K while narrating his story and me while listening to his narrative.
Ishita Mandrekar has a Bachelor in Mass Media (Mumbai) and Masters in Creative Writing (Essex, RHUL). She is currently in her second year of a practice based PhD in Creative Writing and Oral History. Her thesis focusses on the oral history and narratives of the divine prostitutes of Goa. She has contributes articles, reviews and stories to various online and print publications, and occasionally does live readings as part of RHUL’s PhD student –led initiative Purpureus. Previous publications can be found in Muse India, Milestone, Contemporary Women’s Writing Network and Don’t Do It Magazine (upcoming).