New journal article: Understanding Nuance and Ambivalence in Intergenerational Relationships Through Fiction

In this journal article published in The Gerontologist, we argue that using novels can help us to better understand what we mean by intergenerational relationships and why they matter. Drawing on data from our intergenerational reading groups, we discuss how fictional narratives can introduce imagination and a richer vocabulary in talking about intergenerational relationships, and help us to move beyond simplistic ‘conflict/solidarity’ discourses.

Reimagining the Future in Older Age: Film

Film-maker Ray Bird has made a 40 minute documentary about the project which you can watch here: Re-imagining the Future in Older Age. The film shows how Active Inquiry worked with the project researchers and a group of older adults to identify systems of age-based oppression and create two pieces of forum theatre. The theatre pieces that they created, Waiting for Dot and Return to Wonderland, challenge ageist narratives and offer potential alternatives.

Creative toolkit

We have created a toolkit to advise organisations on how to practically embed creative methods and utopian thinking into planning and campaigns to encourage more imagination and aspiration in policy and practice. You can read more about it and download it here.

Through the Utopian Lens of Opportunity: Using fiction and theatre to reimagine the post-COVID-19 future

In this article that was published in the Sociological Review Magazine in November 2021, we write about using creative methods of fiction and forum theatre to reimagine intergenerational relationships and older age in a post-Covid society. You can read the article here.

Forum Theatre performances

In June 2021 our wonderful group of older adult participants, led by our brilliant project partners Active Inquiry, performed two Forum Theatre pieces. ‘Waiting for Dot’ told the story of Dot, who was told that she was too old to go to CND meetings and that ‘activism is a young person’s game’. ‘Return to Wonderland’ featured an older Alice who encountered some familiar faces who told her that she was too old to have adventures, and that if she attended a tea party she might ‘slip on a bun and break her hip’.

The pieces were performed three times in online events from 10-12 June. Performing them online meant that spect-actors could join us from a number of countries. They joined in discussions about the structural reasons why Dot and Alice were being prevented from realising their desires, and a few gamely took the part of characters to see if they could get a better outcome. You can see all three of the live events at these links:

First performance 10 June 2021

Second performance 11 June 2021

Third performance 12 June 2021