Seeing / Dementia

--- is a piece of writing, film and performance that has come from participating in a singing group for people with dementia and their family, carers and friends.

Following my own journey of re-learning identity within the context of dementia, the piece explores the space and materiality of the singing group, inhabiting the space with my partial memories of each class and my interactions with others within the space.

The room of the singing group is thoughtfully arranged by those running the class, each detail approached with precision and care to create a space of welcome and belonging for those taking part in the class. Seeing / Dementia uses this space, its forms, structures and sounds, to explore the relationship between dementia and identity, creating space for change and comfort in uncertainty.

The images of the space and the narration of my mis-remembered / imagined memories talk to each other, the conversation moving in and out of visibility, seeing and re-seeing. Seeing / Dementia has allowed me a space to find a new way to interact with dementia, questioning how we can negotiate, re-learn and re-define our identity when faced with the change that dementia can bring.

The piece deconstructs our definition and understanding of identity, slowly reconstructing a definition that accepts identity as purely being.

Seeing dementia.

With thanks to all those at the Singing for the Mind group at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue.

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