Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tinted Lens Festival of the Mind, Memory and Ageing | May 2017




Tinted Lens Festival of the Mind, Memory and Ageing
May 2017

During Dementia Awareness Week (17th May, 2017) I organised a festival in collaboration with my friends at Chapter Arts in Cardiff and Film hub Wales

This is part of my long-term collaboration with Chapter Arts. An important part of that work is sharing my research with carers and people with dementia to ensure it reflects their needs. My research also means I cannot ignore the wider social exclusion and invisibility they experience - this festival is part of my wider commitment to challenge this social exclusion and to extend access to the arts.

The day included dementia friendly screenings of films including Their Finest (10.30am), Calamity Jane: Singalong (2pm) and Mad to be Normal (7.30pm), that were shown without adverts and have slightly brighter lighting in the auditorium, for people living with dementia to enjoy a film in a relaxed and friendly environment. We also were lucky to screen the premiere of Forget-me-not Chorus: The Documentary (6pm), a short film about the Forget-me-not Chorus, who offer weekly singing sessions to help combat the loneliness and isolation of living with dementia. The Forget-Me-Nots also performed live in the Cinema Foyer and were joined by the award winning Welsh choir, Only Men Aloud, who recently chose Alzheimer’s Society Cymru as their charity of the year.

The day included art and craft workshops, a Virtual Reality experience from researchers at Cardiff University designed to put you in the shoes of someone living with dementia, performances from Everyman Theatre Companyand Re:Live, dementia friends training, information stalls, a fun photobooth, and lots more.

It also included presentations throughout the day by academics at Cardiff University to showcase the wide range of research being carried out to improve the lives of people with dementia and their families and the care they receive.

The day was coordinated by Ellie Russell, Chapter’s Dementia Project Officer:

“I’m so excited to be working with so many incredible partners on this day, and to have the opportunity to play a role in breaking down some of the barriers that can prevent people with dementia leading full and rich lives. I believe that cinema should be accessible to all, and that promoting inclusivity and embracing diversity has the power to enrich the lives of everyone in society.  I’ve seen how isolating a dementia diagnosis can be, both for the person living with dementia and for their families and friends, and I hope the day will not only raise awareness of dementia, but provide a relaxed, supportive and inclusive environment for people to come together to enjoy some really fantastic films and activities.”
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