This talk introduces the ‘Connecting through Culture as we Age’ research project which explores how participation in all forms of arts and culture, particularly those accessed digitally, can influence wellbeing and feelings of social connection as we age. We are working with 19 co-researchers aged 60-75 who are either disabled, socioeconomically or racially minoritised. The co-researchers are involved in a digital innovation process, in which their voices, lived experiences and expertise shape the co-design of digital cultural experiences and products.

Similarly to the Design Justice movement (Constanta-Chock, 2020)  our approach to co-design has been shaped by an intersection of feminist thought and practice, particularly feminist writings on care, relational ontologies and situated knowledges. We will draw on our practices and experiences during the project to introduce a feminist inspired care-full design approach that attempts to foreground the lifeworlds of older minoritized adults and take seriously both their material and embodied experiences of ageing, whilst situating these elements within systemic inequalities experienced across the life course. 

Our co-researchers will also share their experiences of being involved in the project.

Helen Manchester is a Professor of Participatory Sociodigital Futures at the University of Bristol and is currenting running an UKRI Healthy Ageing funded research project ‘Connecting through Culture as we Age’. She is also Co-I on the newly funded ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures. Helen is interested in ageing futures, co-design and participatory methods, social connectivity, culture and the arts. She develops methodologically innovative approaches to research in collaboration with artists, technologists, civil society organisations and policy-makers.

Join us online on YouTube Live, or in the building on Friday 1st March 2024 at 1pm for the talk and to take part in the Q and A discussion afterwards. 

The Pervasive Media Studio is a partnership between the Watershed, University of the West of England and University of Bristol. The lunchtime talks are partly supported by MyWorld, a project led by the University of Bristol to support creative industries in the region. Watershed is supported by Arts Council England.

Watershed, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX

The Lunchtime talks take place in the Pervasive Media Studio Event Space. To access the Studio, please go to the Main Watershed Box Office entrance and go upstairs to the Café Bar. Walk across the cafe bar, turn right and walk towards the double doors. Go through into the corridor and walk all the way down until you reach the Studio. A member of staff will sign you in, and check your ticket, if you have booked.

The Studio is wheelchair accessible, and the events space has a hearing loop. The last talk of every month is BSL interpreted. 

For more information on accessing the studio take a look here.

*Please note this is a hybrid event and will be live streamed so please be aware you will be in the live broadcast and recording when watching in the Studio.