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Intergenerational activism

A Concordia multimedia workshop showcases women's experiences
June 15, 2016
By Christian Durand

Aging Activisms During the Aging Activisms workshop | Photos by David Madden

Older adults are important voices in any activist movement, as their experience and knowledge provide key insights into social change. How then — in a world of rapidly changing technologies and media platforms that often exclude older populations — can their stories be heard?

In late April, a four-day event called Aging Activisms took place at Concordia, which sought to address this very issue. Participants in the intergenerational workshop collaborated to co-create a series of media capsules that record activist histories.

Led by Concordia’s SSHRC funded Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT) research project and May Chazan, Canada Research Chair in Feminist and Gender Studies from Trent University, the workshop assembled intimate intergenerational clusters of activists and academics to produce short videos showcasing women of different ages, backgrounds and abilities telling their stories in their own words. 

ACT-3_by-David-Madden_web Activists and academics produced short videos of women telling their stories.

David Madden, an ACT postdoctoral fellow, coordinated the workshop and developed the training modules for the close to 30 participants spanning four generations. “The philosophy was to integrate co-creation so that there would be an important skill exchange,” he explains.

Participants were put into groups and given basic training in how to conduct interviews, use of sound recorders and photography techniques. On the last day, participants learned how to digitally edit the capsules.

“It was key for us to incorporate feminist and intergenerational methodologies into the process, meaning that more than just telling stories there is constant feedback on how they are being told and an important exchange of skills,” says Madden.

The genesis of the workshop came from the Aging Activisms symposium that was held at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario in October 2015. It brought together four generations of women to showcase and understand the many ways they work for change throughout their lives.

At the end, participants expressed a clear desire to continue these conversations, which led to the Concordia workshop. The group hopes to meet again at Trent in fall 2016.

Peggy Edwards from Aging Activisms.


Check out all the Aging Activisms media capsules.

Learn more about Concordia’s Ageing + Communications + Technologies (ACT) multi-methodological research project.


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