Places in the heart: nostalgia, psychogeography and late-life dementia

Capstick, Andrea (2010) Places in the heart: nostalgia, psychogeography and late-life dementia. [Video] (Unpublished)

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Recording of presentation given at Vital Signs 2 Conference, 7-9 September 2010, University of Manchester

'It’s all long gone now...they’ve closed the shop on the corner of Athlone dad ran it a long time ago...that time...'

Within the dominant biomedical discourse, late-life dementia is regarded as a pathological condition characterised by disorientation in time and space, word finding difficulties and ‘problem behaviours’ such as ‘wandering’ and ‘repetitive questioning’. Once taken out of its biomedical straightjacket, however, dementia emerges as a condition which has much in common with the conscious projects of surrealist and situationist arts movements. This includes the subversion of the idea of time (and history) as linear, unidirectional progress.

People diagnosed with dementia frequently state a desire to return (or indeed a fear of returning) to places from the past which may no longer exist in physical space, but which remain real as remembered worlds and sources of nostalgia (literally ‘the pain of returning’). These are also issues central to the field of psychogeography – an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the emotional and sensory impact of specific, particularly urban, locations.

Informed by the work of poets such as Blake, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud, as theorised by, for example, Walter Benjamin and Guy Debord, psychogeography privileges undirected ‘wandering’ through its emphasis on concepts such as the flaneur, and the dérive (or ‘drift’). In this paper, such concepts will be used as a way of exploring the spatio-temporal experiences of people with dementia, using extracts from film and narrative life stories.

Item Type: Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Realities, other knowledges
Subjects: 4. Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.23 Qualitative Approaches (other)
Depositing User: Realities user
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 14:06
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:53

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