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Reclaiming the self


Cook, PS, Reclaiming the self, Mather's Place, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Repeat Exhibition]

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In 2016, fifteen percent of the Australian population was over the age of 65 (3.7 million people). Despite these demographic changes, older age continues to be portrayed as a time of loss involving social isolation, withdrawal, and a body in decline with malfunctioning or deficient physical, mental and emotional resources. This negativity towards ageing may contribute to, or could be at odds with, how older people perceive and experience their own ageing process.

To examine this, I gave digital cameras to sixteen older Tasmanians (65 years and over) living independently in the community, and asked them photograph what it means to be an older person and what ageing means to them. I then interviewed them on their photographs, of which over one thousand were collected.

This research-based exhibition directly confronts the social myths that ageing equates to dependency and institutionalisation by showcasing the beauty, sadness, joy and uncertainty that ageing can present, thus providing crucial insight into the wants, needs, lives, and experiences of older people, while also confronting ageist attitudes.

Item Details

Item Type:Repeat Exhibition
Keywords:ageing; ageism; visual research methods; community engagement; older people; older adults; photography; phenomenology
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Cook, PS (Dr Peta Cook)
ID Code:119966
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-08-08
Last Modified:2017-09-18

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