DIAMetric is a space which explores where dementia meets the arts and media. The way dementia is framed and depicted shapes how we all feel about dementia and about our world more generally.
Let’s be clear from the start. DIAMetric takes a broad view of things.
We see the arts as meaning any form of creative engagement.
We see media as meaning any form which reports, documents or captures opinion, news or events which involve dementia. So blogs and games as much as print. Anything which presents itself as communication.
At one level dementia is a touchstone of so much that matters to us. It resonates with our deepest fears, hopes, important feelings, relationships and memories - the stuff of life. So it is no surprise that dementia is everywhere around us in the arts and the media. At another level dementia is increasingly just a routine part of modern daily life.
In the arts
In the arts dementia is increasingly visible as a subject and inspiration for artists in all forms, from heart-felt documentaries to creative engagement with ageing, memory, loss, grief, and joy. At the same time participation in the arts by older people is getting more air time but arguably is getting no more clear as a result. The distinction between participative therapy and art practice are still very much there to be explored.
This all means there is lots to look at.
- We shall certainly celebrate and draw attention to quality artworks.
- We shall explore how ethics involved in art which engages with dementia and people with dementia are seen by artists themselves.
- We shall reflect on those respectful politically correct story lines which are popping up in soaps and other dramas, on stage, in films, books and in games.
In the media
In the media dementia stares back at us on a daily basis. From promises of miracle cures and pressure group lobbying in the news, to celebrity confessionals and “spot the signs” self-help in features. And that’s just the news media. Is this reinforcing or helping tackle the stigma and fear which still surrounds dementia?
What could be more interesting than where artists, neuroscientists, journalists, health professionals, therapists, lobbyists, advocates and people with dementia all bump up together? What do these things tell us about the wider state of things around us?
Digging around in all this wonderful stuff
DIAMetric wants to dig around in all this wonderful stuff. Maybe stir things up a bit. That is our territory. Sometimes in detail, sometimes not. Serious and humorous. Covering the good and, let’s be honest, the poor, or even damaging.
We hope DIAMetric will open up a much-needed space where thoughts can be explored and independent thinking encouraged and shared. We have had a bit a worry about setting up a forum, so we haven’t. Yet.
So we are looking now to provide a space for blog pieces, commentary, reviews, research, showcases, advocacy, concern and celebration. It is a curated space which means pieces can be submitted or commissioned to showcase a range of voices and perspectives.
A big thank you
From the start DIAMetric would like to thank Professor June Andrews for hosting us on the DSDC website. We see this as a real bonus. DSDC is independent, open and collaborative in its approach and makes links between thinking and doing, evidence and practice. It stands for something. So our being virtual but with a spiritual home in DSDC makes a lot of sense to us.
So let’s get on with it. Hope you enjoy what happens next.