Last week the Royal Society of Public Health hosted the 1st International Arts and Dementia Research Conference in the UK. It was interesting to see how work is becoming “a field” but frustrating to listen to what seems to me like reductive thinking.
A busy week which included meetings with Professor Sarah Harper Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, with local authority teams in Lewisham, online with local authorities in New South Wales, and face to face with people like Francois Matarasso currently working on A Restless Art, and Alice Thwaite of Equal Arts whose practice is amazing, and resolved, and un showy and necessary and should be everywhere.
I spent a great deal of time with Anne Bastings so the conference formed part of a week long conversation. By the end of it we voiced the thought that there needs be more work. Not more analysis, not more conferences, but more work. Let the work do the work. Let it speak for itself
Which reminded me of this talk on art and failure from four or five years ago. Its a short summary of thinking from then. Its posted here to remind me to go further.
Why further? why now?
The Global Brain Health Fellowship work and a week running around the UK had me reflecting on policy and place and poverty. Its evident that the long discussed “crisis” caused by longer lives isn’t about to happen. It has happened. We might not have the means to measure but that doesn’t mean its not here.
The challenge of caring for frail elders is born, as it always has been, by families and friends. The challenge of innovation in care, for the frail elders and for carers, as both now make an appearance at scale isn’t being intelligently addressed. If anything signals for change are disappearing under the noise of political distraction.
At the end of the week Angela Davis spoke to a packed auditorium on London’s South Bank, ” we are living the imaginaries of those who have been long gone. We are living the world they wanted. And therefore we can expect that others will be inhabiting a world that we imagine, maybe not in terms of the specificity, but inhabiting a very new world that is impossible if we do not engage in the kind of activism that is required today”
There is no putting off for tomorrow improvements to the systems of formal and informal care. If not now when will we step beyond what we know doesn’t work, to build a legacy that might?
- Posted by Bea the Beautiful
- On 13th March 2017
- 0 Comments