News - November 2019

Keele academic hosts event to celebrate creativity in later life

Keele University’s Dr Pawas Bisht, Lecturer in Media, Communications and Culture, has held an event in Stoke-on-Trent to celebrate creativity in later life as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s UK-wide Festival of Social Sciences.

The event, Older, Happier, Creative: Celebrating Creativity in Later Life, took place on Monday 4 November at the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley.

It featured short documentary films produced by Dr Pawas Bisht and students from Keele’s media programme about the Ages and Stages Theatre Company, combined with an interactive performance by the company.

The theatre company, comprised of older members of the community from Stoke-on-Trent, emerged out of a long-running research collaboration, beginning in 2009, between Keele University and the New Vic Theatre exploring the impact of theatre on ideas about, and the experience of, ageing.

The films focussed on the life-stories of individual members of the company, highlighting how engagement with the creative arts allowed many of them to overcome significant personal challenges.

The audience was also invited to engage with the stories and reflect upon the role of creativity in their own lives. Researchers, staff and students from Keele University, involved in the research project and production of the films, also participated in the discussions that were generated.

Dr Bisht, researcher and documentary filmmaker, said: “We hope the event will challenge conventional understandings of ageing and inspire engagement with the creative arts for people of all ages.”

Following the screening, the films were made available on the Stoke-Stories online archive, a repository of short documentaries about Stoke-on-Trent produced by Keele students.

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