Materiality and the meaning of aging Re-envisioning seniors’ creative practice

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Ching-Chiu Lin


This photo essay offers an alternative perspective on aging and its experience by exploring materiality—how human bodies and material things co-construct meaning—through a sock monkey-making workshop in an independent living facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Ethnographic photography is utilized as a method to unfold and portray seniors’ creative practices through their encounters with materials and bodies. By demonstrating a materiality approach, this essay invites researchers, educators, and community professionals to reimagine seniors’ creative practices, and programs supporting such practices, through understanding how aging is inseparable from material environments. It provokes us to rethink how seniors’ material encounters may reconceptualize the notion of agency for seniors. Such an approach allows us to move beyond stereotypical impressions of what aging is about or should be, instead focusing on how bodies, artifacts, and spaces among other things are intertwined in particular moments.

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How to Cite
Lin, C.-C. (2021). Materiality and the meaning of aging. Visual Methodologies, 8(1), 37-45.