Sunday 31 December 2023

Party like there's no tomorrow ...

... but hopefully there will be many tomorrows and a future everybody can look forward to: old and young, no matter what class or financial status, no matter how able-bodied, what skin tone, gender, religion, no matter who they love... Wishing you all the best for 2024!

photograph via

Saturday 30 December 2023

Autoportraits. By Joy Gregory.

Joy Gregory is a British artist whose series "Autoportraits 1989-1990" consists of nine multiple selves. The series is a response to the lack of visibility of Black women in  the British fashion industry, a lack she noticed when she was a teenager (Sealy 2005:203f).

Aged 13, she started consuming so-called women's magazines which showed how life was to be lived. Gregory dreamt of seeing someone like herself in these magazines and became more and more disappointed since there were hardly Black women shown (Impressions Gallery, n.d.).

As a subject, Gregory occupies different locations within the actual photographic frame; it is as if she is physically and temporally moving through the laboured positionality of the camera’s long, historical, racist resting place. It is an act stating that she refuses to be fixed as a subject. Gregory slides across the frame, entering it and presenting to it however she so chooses. The making of the self-portrait here is a mark of control across the actual exposure and focal length of the photographic moment. It is also a moment that marks for Gregory the end of absence and pacificity. This is done in what appears to be a double act of playfulness and challenge. Nothing in this work is stable. The reading is uncertain because it is Gregory who caresses and controls the camera and the moments of release and capture. She is simultaneously in your face while covering hers. Her eyes, lips, ears, hair and hands, which in one of the frames cover her face, all play a central role in the abstracted notion of the multiple framed selves that she presents to the camera. Within this sequence of images it is as much the object of the camera as a mechanism for recording that comes under scrutiny as the subject that is positioned in front of its lens. The subtle interchange between the subject as photographer and camera as recorder becomes confused for the reader because the work performed by these images leads ultimately to subvert the traditional role that the black woman plays within photography. As representations these images become markers of the individual survival strategies employed by the photographer to disrupt the indexicality of the photographic medium. The subject in this ‘Autoportrait’ series wilfully refuses in an unruly but playful manner to behave in front of the cameras lens. What is ruptured formally here is the unspoken conservative code that demands the visual comfort of centrality of the subject when presented in front of the camera. At work within this photography is the breaking of the orthodoxies of anthropology and fashion photography. In the making of a single portrait through a series of nine fragmented works, all the traditional rules of photography portraiture are subverted. Therefore, as photographs they are a politically and culturally defiant act; they place the questions of gender and race centre stage in the contested field of representational politics in the 1990s. They break with tradition as nothing of what is presented within the sequence of images offers the reader the chance to settle on the idea of a definitive black woman. Within the process of unsettling the viewer, it is the viewer’s subject position that is ‘under threat’ (Burgin 1982, p.150). This photographic work invites the viewer to consider and deconstruct the actual act of seeing the black woman. (Sealy 2005:203f)


- Impressions Gallery (n.d.). Joy Gregory. Lost languages and other voices. Exhibition Guide, online.
- Sealy, M. A. (2005). Decolonizing the Camera: Photography in Racial Time. Thesis, Durham University.
- photographs by Joy Gregory via and via and via

Wednesday 27 December 2023

"The freedom is being able to produce whatever you like."

"I remember when I was a student I was invited to participate in an exhibition which was about ‘Black art’. I sent my pictures in and they sent them back because they weren’t ‘Black enough’. They were interiors, because at that time that’s what I did – made pictures of interiors and still lifes. I was confused. I think, because of having grown up outside the metropolis, I wasn’t aware that my work needed to look or be a certain way. For me, it was really interesting because by building those walls around what you should and shouldn’t be, you’re doing exactly what people have decided you should be. The freedom is being able to produce whatever you like."

photograph by Joy Gregory from her series "Autoportraits" via

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Trends in Loneliness Among Older Adults from 2018-2023

In January 2023, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging carried out a survey asking US-Americans aged fifty to eighty questions about loneliness. One in three adults (34%) reported feeling isolated from others, a greater proportion than the 27% in 2018. Among older adults the percentage was higher (37% compared to 34% in 2018). 

One in three older adults (33%) reported infrequent contact with people from outside their home (14% once a week, 10% every two to three weeks, 9% once a month or less). The feeling of isolation was much more common for those who reported fair or poor mental health (77% vs. 29% of those reporting good mental health). They were also more likely to report feeling a lack of companionship (73% of those with poor mental health vs 33% of those with better mental health). Lack of companionship was also more of an issue among people who were unemployed, lived alone or had an annual household income less than 60,000 dollars. Chronic loneliness can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, and on life expectancy (via).

- Malani P, Singer D, Kirch M, Solway E, Roberts S, Smith E, Hutchens L, Kullgren J. Trends in Loneliness Among Older Adults from 2018-2023. University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging. March 2023. Available at:
- photographs by Garry Winogrand via and via

Monday 25 December 2023

Empathy trumps prejudice: The longitudinal relation between empathy and anti-immigrant attitudes in adolescence

Abstract: Although research has shown the effects of empathy manipulations on prejudice, little is known about the long-term relation between empathy and prejudice development, the direction of effects, and the relative effects of cognitive and affective aspects of empathy. Moreover, research has not examined within-person processes; hence, its practical implications are unclear. In addition, longitudinal research on development of prejudice and empathy in adolescence is still scarce. 

This 3-wave study of adolescents (N = 574) examined a longitudinal, within-person relation between empathy and anti-immigrant attitudes. The "standard" cross-lagged model showed bidirectional effects between empathic concern, perspective taking, and anti-immigrant attitudes. In contrast, the Random-Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model showed that only perspective taking directly predicted within-person changes in anti-immigrant attitudes. Empathic concern predicted within-person changes in anti-immigrant attitudes indirectly, via its effects on perspective taking. No effects of anti-immigrant attitudes on within-person changes in empathy were found. The relations between empathic concern, perspective taking, and anti-immigrant attitudes were significant at the between-person level. In addition, the results showed changes in anti-immigrant attitudes and perspective taking and a change in empathic concern in mid- but not late adolescence. The results provide strong evidence for the effects of perspective taking on development of anti-immigrant attitudes in adolescence. They also suggest that the link between empathic concern and adolescents' anti-immigrant attitudes can be explained by indirect, within-person effects and by between-person differences. The findings suggest that programs aimed at reducing anti-immigrant attitudes in adolescence should work more closely with youth perspective taking and empathic concern. (Miklikowska, 2018)

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- Miklikowska, M. (2018). Empathy trumps prejudice: The longitudinal relation between empathy and anti-immigrant attitudes in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 54(4), 703-717.
- photograph by Joseph Szabo via

Sunday 24 December 2023

The Hardest Day of the Year

2.3 million older people in the United Kingdom wish they had someone to spend time with at Christmas. For 1.6 million people, Christmas is the hardest day of the year. According to Age UK, 1.3 million people will feel lonely this Christmas (via).

photograph via

Saturday 23 December 2023

Quoting Samuel L. Jackson

“When I grew up in segregation, I knew which white people didn’t want to be bothered with me, and I knew how they felt about me. When I see Trump, I see the same rednecks I saw when I was growing up … [who] tried to keep me in my place.” 
Samuel L. Jackson

The world seems to be in as hard a place as it’s always been. As a child of the ’60s, watching what happened at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and seeing the police beating those demonstrators — and those were young white kids — I learned there’s a certain kind of thing that the powers that be don’t want us doing. One of them is protesting what they think they want us to do. So when George Floyd happened, it was great to see all the different faces of kids out there fighting the injustice and what the power was doing once again to keep you from having an open mind or keep you from creating change that is not the change they want made. That part has not changed. In my opinion, it’s kind of worse. They used to hide it. Now, they don’t hide it anymore!”
Samuel L. Jackson

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photograph via

Thursday 21 December 2023

Age and Financial Abuse

While, in general, people of any age group can become victims of scamers, those over sixty are more vulnerable and people over 80 are extremely vulnerable. According to a study carried out in the United States in 2019, people aged 20 to 59 had lower median losses, people aged 70 to 79 suffered a median loss of 600 dollars and for people over 80, the median loss was 1,600 dollars. 

The scams most likely to be carried out are: online shopping scams (at least 14 million dollars lost), tech support scams (which stole 24 million dollars from victims over 60), imposter scams, romance scams (which hit a high of 304 million dollars in 2020; people ages 70plus have a median loss at 9,475 dollars), sweepstakes- and lottery-based scams (social media now accounts for one third of lottery scams) but also timeshare sale and resale scams (which conned over 30 million dollars total from people 60plus in 2019 alone), investments scams (25 million dollars) and health insurance scams (via).

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photograph by Fred Herzog via

Saturday 16 December 2023

Ageism in Marriage and Family Therapy

Abstract: The paucity of literature addressing mental health issues concerning geriatric populations represents the perpetuation of ageist practices and beliefs in the field of marriage and family therapy. The purpose of this study was to assess whether client age and clinical training relate to the evaluation of couples who present for conjoint therapy. Written vignettes describing two couples, one older and one younger, who report issues involving the absence of sexual intimacy, increased frequency of arguments, and increased use of alcohol were evaluated by practicing marriage and family therapists, therapists-in-training, and individuals with no clinical background. 

It was hypothesized that respondents' views would vary in connection with the age of the couple and with the three levels of participant training. Results indicate that client age and participant training are associated with perceptions of individual and couple functioning. Our findings suggest that the relational and mental health concerns experienced by elder couples are not perceived as seriously as are identical concerns experienced by younger couples. Contrary to our expectations the observed differences between views of the two age conditions did not significantly differ between levels of participant training. Training and experience in marriage and family therapy may not significantly mitigate vulnerability to age-discrepant views. (Ivey, Wieling & Harris, 2000)

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- Ivey, D. C., Wieling, E. & Harris, S. M. (2000). Save the Young - the Elderly Have Lived Their Lives: Ageism in Marriage and Family Therapy. Family Process, 39(2), 163-175.
- photograph by Gabriele and Helmuth Nothelfer via

Friday 15 December 2023

The Battle of Lewisham

The National Front (NF), a far-right British party, reached the height of electoral support in the mid-1970s. In 1977, they announced the organisation of a so-called "Anti-Mugging March" from New Cross to Catford, passing through multicultural Lewisham. The march was announced after the arrest of Black people in Lewisham whose homes had been raided by the police in connection with a series of muggings over the months before. 

As a reaction, the All Lewisham Campaign Against Racsm and Fascism organised counter-demonstrations for the same day since all attempts to have the march banned had failed. 

On 13 August 1977, hundreds of NF members assembled, so did thousands of local people and community leaders to hold a peaceful counter-march. The police tried to reroute the NF but faced forceful opposition. Counter-demonstrators clashed with police and it was the first time that the Metropolitan Police employed riot shields in mainland Britain (via and via and via).

Photographer Syd Shelton documented the events. He is also happens to be the photographer who documented the Rock Against Racism movement

It was about intimidating and frightening people just as the Nazis had done in the streets of Germany in the 1930s.
Syd Shelton


"Police motorbikes were set on fire and the police responded with truncheons. There’s one photograph where the horses are coming towards me – I was knocked over to the ground but still had the camera in my hand so I kept going."
Syd Shelton

"It was a violent day, but there was also a degree of triumph because the people were not going to take it anymore. More than 200 people were arrested but nobody really cared because they felt like they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s the most incredibly empowering feeling to come together in huge numbers and feel you can actually change the world — because if you don’t things can do in the opposite direction."
Syd Shelton

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photographs by Syd Shelton  (of Darcus Howe) via and via and by Chris Schwartz via and by John Hodder via and by Syd Shelton again via

Thursday 14 December 2023

Empathy Museum: A Mile in My Shoes

In 2015, a series of art installations began aiming to help increase empathy through storytelling and dialogue: the Empathy Museum. The offices are in London while the museum does not have a permanent location; the temporary installations travel internationally (via). One of the projects is "A Mile in My Shoes", a giant shoebox with shoes and audio stories inviting visitors to walk a mile in someone else's shoes and to "expore our shared humanity" (via).

From a Syrian refugee to a sex worker, a war veteran to a neurosurgeon, visitors are invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a stranger while listening to their story. The stories cover different aspects of life, from loss and grief to hope and love and take the visitor on an empathetic as well as a physical journey.

The other projects of the Empathy Museum are "A Thousand and One Books", "Human Library" and "From Where I'm Standing".

"empathy is the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions"
Roman Krznaric, founder of Empathy Museum

"What all stereotyping has in common, whether it is a product of politics, religion, nationalism, or other forces, is an effort to dehumanize, to erase individuality, to prevent us from looking someone in the eye and learning their name. The consequence is to create a culture of indifference that empathy finds difficult to penetrate."
Roman Krznaric, founder of Empathy Museum

"Highly empathic people are engaged in a constant search for what they share with other people, even when those people appear alien to them."
Roman Krznaric, founder of Empathy Museum

"Empathy is a constant awareness of the fact that your concerns are not everyone’s concerns and that your needs are not everyone’s needs, and"
Roman Krznaric, founder of Empathy Museum

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photograph of Ringo and his boots (1971) via

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Cutting All of Society's Traditional Classifications

"Ageism is distinct from all other forms of discrimination because it cuts all of society's traditional classifications: gender, race, religion and national origin."
Nuessel, 1982 (quoted in Kramer, 2003)

- Kramer, U. (2003). AGEISMUS - Zur sprachlichen Diskriminierung des Alters.
- photograph by Joel Meyerowitz via

Saturday 2 December 2023

Quoting Lauren Hutton

“I don’t believe your looks go. I intend to be one of the best-looking old ladies that anybody’s ever seen and if that happens to me, then that means I had a good life.”
Lauren Hutton, 1974

photograph via