Photography project launches for people living with dementia
Talk Dementia & Photobook Project THE DEMENTIA LIVES MATTER PROJECT
Ellie Robinson-Carter is an Illustrator, Creative Dementia Practitioner & Researcher based in Falmouth, UK. Ellie devises creative frameworks & invites individuals to take ownership of them, fostering their authorial voices & personal narratives. Working locally, nationally & internationally Ellie specialises in working with people living with dementia & their carers using creative practice to nurture individual’s self-confidence, independence & self-expression.
Ronald Amanze, founder of Talk Dementia, is a Black Dementia Champion with the Alzheimer’s Society, a Dementia Diarist with DEEP and an Ambassador for The Stroke Association, working to ensure there is better provision for the BAME communities in dementia service and more involvement from BAME communities in dementia research. A musician and music producer by background he is passionate about the role of creativity in improving the quality of life experience for people living with dementia
David Truswell, Project Manager with Talk Dementia and Executive Director of the Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity is the editor and a contributing author to Supporting People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities Living with Dementia with several published articles on dementia in BAME communities. He is passionate about psychological and social interventions in dementia and the clinical benefits of creativity and involvement in the arts. His background is in mental health service management in the NHS and local authorities in London
The Photobook Project is a creative framework designed for people living with dementia which invites individuals to document their own, shared narratives through photography, book-making & other media. Talk Dementia is a grassroots initiative, founded by Ronald Amanze, focused on developing projects that inspire people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities living with dementia to tell their own life stories in their own way, This joint project will encourage and enable participants to be the illustrators of their own narratives, show how they are living well with their dementia, enhancing their self-confidence, feelings of connectivity & artistic skills.
Talk Dementia and the Photobook Project share a passion for empowering people living with dementia through creativity.
We will deliver this project with 20 people from BAME communities who are living with dementia in London. The project would help them to use photography as a creative way of expressing themselves and empower their voices, within their domestic spaces. Using the statement ‘Dementia Lives Matter’ each person would be provided with a letter from this phrase and invited to select a theme. For example, the individual with letter ‘m’ might chose ‘memories’, ‘magical’ or ‘mysterious’. They will then document 27 images (the number on a single-use camera) over the period of 27 days, which reflect this theme.
We will put these images into a book template (like the image shown here) in the order they were taken and create the story of their experience. The map in the right-hand corner will reflect their location in the UK.
We will also invite participants to respond to their theme through poetry or creative writing. This will highlight their unique heritage and histories, empowering their voices and identities. Their writings will be displayed in smaller A6 booklets attached to the centre of the photobooks (see image).
At the end of the project, a bespoke box will be created by Juniper Bespoke to house the collection, which will be exhibited in their local community and celebrated at an event (once it is safe to do so).
Each participant will be gifted with a copy of their book, to cherish and share with their friends, family and wider communities. Another box will be made and added to the archive at Old Shop Studios, Falmouth, alongside projects from other parts of the UK, the Netherlands and Japan. In autumn 2021 we would present this project at Ellie’s conference at Falmouth University titled “Only Connect!”, inviting 1/2 participants to speak about their experience of the project. A selection of the completed photobooks will also be displayed online at www.the-photobook-project.com and @arts_dementia. Participants will also have the option of participating in a podcast about the project to talk about their experience of taking part.