WAM is involved in a number of projects that seek to engage local, national and international communities in the research that we do. As noted in the WAM Manifesto, “Older women need to be at the centre of debates to discuss their own identities, their own lives, and the policies governing them.” With the WAM Summer School forming the annual dissemination of our research activity within and outside the group, we felt it vitally important to warmly invite older women to offer and celebrate their input and insight.
Thus our Annual International Summer School WAM seeks to include participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including community artists, dance groups, and care home managers. For example in 2012, the WAM Summer School proudly held a photographic exhibition of local artist Vicky Hodgson’s series ‘Still Working’. In 2013, we welcomed Dr. Trish Winter (Sunderland, UK) and the Grand Gestures Elders Dance Group (find out more here), and explored lived experiences of caring for older people through conversations with the manager of a local care home, Nick Edwards (RN).
The work done by WAM and our colleagues and affiliates across the world seeks to trouble and politicise the representation of older women, in particular, in the media and indeed in all aspects of social and cultural life. In 2012 WAM researchers Josephine Dolan & Estella Tinknell were invited to the House of Commons round table discussion on Older Women in Public Life. Read the final report by the Commission on Older Women here.
Director of the Centre for Women, Ageing and Media, Dr. Ros Jennings, in conjunction with the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, The National Union of Journalists and the Women in Journalism Group, helped to develop the Charter for Ageism and Sexism in the Media:
WAM researchers are therefore found interacting with a variety of audiences from across the world at various national and international conferences, and are at the cutting edge of academic research and political activism. Leading workshops, delivering papers and networking with colleagues, WAM seeks to engage audiences in the vital work that is being done in the field.