The aim of the project is to give elderly people living in a nursing home who have become invisible after a lifetime living and working in a small rural town a presence. To challenge the way we treat older people and create a dialogue with the residents to combat loneliness and the feeling that no one is interested in them any more.
Compare the way we regard and treat antique furniture which is highly valued for its age and visible signs of aging and the way humans lose value with age.
From January till April 2013 I spent time listening to the residents, and talking with them about their lives while I made pinhole photographs of their hands. The wrinkles, marks of age and twisted fingers add value and interest to the hands, they tell the story of their lives.
Photographing people’s hands also put them at ease, while we got to know each other and gain trust. The local radio station (Radio Lacaune) is a partner in the project, recording the sessions and broadcasting some of the stories. The project will culminate in an exhibition in the nursing home, a touring exhibition and book.
‘Inside Out Lacaune’ brings together junior highschool students and the elderly residents with the worldwide Internet Inside Out community. The kids photographed the residents of the nursing home and the residents in turn photographed the kids. Each session was an amazing experience, where the generations made contact, shared in the photo experience and learned from each other. The atmosphere in the room radiated warmth and joy.
The Paste up in June will bring the participants together again, and the poster wall will bring the project out to villagers and passerbys alike. The juxtaposition of young and old faces, smiling and laughing will I hope raise some questions in the viewers minds about the way we treat old age in our society, bring hope, dignity and joy to those that see it.