We are really excited to share with you all our first STOPageism partner-led campaign. Through Their Time, Laura Page, Photographer and Rebecca Vassie Memorial award winner, has captured the lives of older people during the pandemic, setting out to challenge the perceptions of ageing. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the intricate stories captured throughout the past year. So keep an eye out on STOPageism and across our social channels!
To learn more about Laura, her perception of ageing and ageism, and to discover more about Their Time, check out a word from Laura Page herself below.
I’ve worked as a socially-engaged artist for over 20-years now. This basically means I work with different communities to collaboratively produce creative work together usually with the aim of building community cohesion, confidence and creating positive social change. I often work with older people, sometimes people with dementia, disabilities and other illnesses. I noticed how easy it was to slip into making assumptions about the older people I worked with – assumptions about their abilities, their lives, their personalities even though I’d been shown time and again these were wrong. I might meet someone for the first time and have difficulty speaking with them and could have left them to stare off into space. But, of course, once we managed to communicate I could always see the interesting and multi-faceted person who had already lived a life far longer, deeper, and richer than mine. The twinkle in the eyes, the jokes and the tales would reveal something of the person within the body. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be constantly judged as weak or “past it” as the media often portrays people in older age. That was the reason for my decision to photograph older people in a way that I hope shows something of their sagaciousness, spark and power.
I believe ageism is bad for all of us. Many of us live in an age-segregated world in the UK but different generations have so much to offer, share and learn from each other. Meeting the people I’ve photographed for this series of images for Their Time has filled me with inspiration and an excitement about older life. Many of the subjects have loved their work and bringing up their families in earlier life but it kept them so busy. Now they are older they are finally finding time to explore new hobbies and pursuits and to choose their own paths. This is their time to use all that knowledge, wisdom and confidence to live life to the full. And it’s beautiful to see.