Knowledge as Embodied, Imaginative and Foolish Enactment: Exploring Dementia Experiences through Theater

Julia Gray, Sherry L. Dupuis, Pia Kontos, Christine Jonas-Simpson, Gail Mitchell

Abstract


In this article, we provide an example of a performance-research project to advance understandings of the ways artistic and scientific processes work in conversation. Drawing on the research-informed play Cracked: New Light on Dementia, we consider the interrelationship among cultural narratives (including the perpetuation of oppressive narratives of marginalized people), aesthetic and artistic exploration (sensory and emotional exploration together with dramaturgy and theatricality), and social critique for the purposes of broader social change. By explicating three interrelated "acts" of our process, including preparation, execution and exhibition (THOMPSON, 2015), we share the ways artistic practices were flexibly used to generate new cultural knowledge about the ways we think, feel, and sense about dementia to mobilize social good. With our work we criticize institutional and research structures that deny arts processes the status of "research," as well as challenge traditional modes of knowledge and knowledge production.


Keywords


arts-based research; research-creation; research-informed theater; performance research; cultural production; social change; dementia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-21.3.3444

Copyright (c) 2020 Julia Gray, Sherry L. Dupuis, Pia Kontos, Christine Jonas-Simpson, Gail Mitchell

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