Monday, 9 April 2012

Churchill Fellowship: Malaysia First

Part of my research for Arts and Older People is to try and discover peoples attitudes towards the ageing process and whether people believe in an active or passive old age.  How committed are people and authorities for the arts provision?

The arts can also be active or passive - there is a lot of fun entertainment for older people in care homes, and concerts and poetry readings.  However there seems to be less participatory arts activities, i.e. 'active arts' once people get older.  I am especially interested in drama and theatre through interactive workshops and also performances with older people involved in the production.  There is potential for all aspect of performance, not only playing roles but also directing, stage management and technical support.

Next month when I go to Malaysia and it will be stimulating to discover if participatory arts are shared amongst the diverse cultural groups: Malay, Chinese and Indian.  Certainly when I lived with the Temiar people in the Malaysian rain-forest, everyone participated in the singing and dance-dramas, the shamanic seances and the bamboo music.