A Critical Exploration of Creativity and Dementia at the Intersection of Embodiment, Relationality and Citizenship
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern - Join Gilbrea Centre and the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University for a free online seminar: A Critical Exploration of Creativity and Dementia at the Intersection of Embodiment, Relationality and Citizenship.
Decreasing stigma associated with dementia and fostering dementia-inclusive communities are key public health priorities across national and international settings. Engagement with the arts is increasingly advocated to reduce stigma and to increase social inclusion of persons living with dementia since the arts so powerfully support non-verbal communication, affect, and the opportunity to participate in activities that are meaningful to self and to others. However, for the most part, the arts are implemented as a therapeutic intervention with the aim of reducing neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia, and improving cognitive and physical health outcomes. The enrichment that the arts bring to human lives is thus obscured by treating the arts exclusively as a means to a therapeutic end. Dr. Pia Kontos will discuss this limitation with reference to a relational model of citizenship that recognizes corporeality and relationality as fundamental to human existence, and that brings a new and critical dimension to understanding the importance of creativity in the context of dementia. Findings from empirical research of hers will be discussed to illustrate how the relational model of citizenship brings a new and critical dimension to understanding the creativity of persons living with dementia while also addressing broader issues of their inclusivity and the ethical imperative to fully support engagement with the arts through institutional policies, structures, and practices.
Dr. Pia Kontos, University of Toronto
Pia is a senior scientist at the KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, and Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. In her research she focuses on structural and relational vulnerability to stigma associated with dementia in the context of community-based and institutional care settings, contributing to the development of theories, policies, and practices that support ethical care relationships, and the development and evaluation of arts-based initiatives to reduce stigma and improve the quality of dementia care.