International Conference
Monday, 10 July 2017
Duisburg, Lehmbruck Museum

The conference took place on 10th of July 2017 at the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The conference aimed to join the forces of European Museum Expertise to create more exchange of experience gained across the borders. The international conference was part of the European project MA&A and presented different museum programs from Italy, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as an experimental rap-music project. In the afternoon sessions the participants received practical knowledge and tools at different workshops. The conference addressed persons interested in artistic approaches to dementia, whether in professional or private context. For the past 10 years the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg has been very active on national and international level to support cultural participation for people with dementia. During this period, numerous German museums have begun to open their doors to visitors with cognitive disabilities and difficulties with orientation. Other European countries are also offering exciting museum programs and bring a wider variety into the field.

Download the programme of the event.

Watch the video

The workshops in details: 

 Art & rap / participation from the very beginning 

Imagine a world where people participate in cultural events, in the arts, and everything which is of concern, who doesn´t want this? In reality it has no tradition in our society and is often denied to people with dementia. The workshop presented REMINITENCE, an experimental music project in which participation has been successful from the outset. In the project, ten older people who lived with a neurodegenerative or cognitive impairment told their stories which were translated into rap songs by the musician Mattan Köster. The pieces of music tell authentic stories in the form of a rap. During the workshop Mattan Köster, who is rapper and a professional caregiver, explained how to develop a rap song inspired by a piece of art. 

Music Movement Museum – experiences at the Marino Marini Museum 

In the work of Marino Marini, the theme of dance, movement and theater is a recurring theme. Works of art led the staff to explore the theme of movement and music with people with dementia and their carers participating in the activities at the Marino Marini Museum. Participants in the workshop were involved in an experience that started with a presentation of the project at the Marini Museum. The participants experienced firsthand the value and emotion of interpreting a work of art through dance and movement. 

Art and Poetry for People with Alzheimer’s at the Marino Marini Museum 

The workshop presented poetry as an interesting and challenging activity for people with dementia in a museum setting. Based on the experiences done at the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, the workshop highlighted the communication strategies used to engage people with dementia and their caregivers with art through poetry. Poetry was introduced as a language register closer to that of the observed artwork. The workshop included the active involvement of the participants. They were asked to observe a work of art and to invent together a poem inspired by it, using the same techniques which were used at the Marino Marini Museum during the activities dedicated to people with dementia. 

New team players: Museums & social partners 

A healthy cooperation between partners in different field – how does it work? How can partners mutually enrich one another if they want to develop and implement artistic or cultural programs for people with dementia? What can they learn from each other, where are the barriers and how can they be overcome? The workshop discussed topics such as: exchange of experience, different perspectives, and joint debates. Models of successful cooperation were presented. 

The Open Studio for people with dementia at the Lehmbruck Museum 

The Open Studio is a place where participants can work freely, individually and artistically. Everyone can develop his or her individual artistic potential and follow the personal need for expression. These skills can be used, if expression is no longer carried by language due to the process of dementia. Relatives and professional caregivers have the chance to perceive the potentials of the participants with dementia during the joint artistic work time - that´s easier than in everyday life. Thereby the image of the affected participants can be transformed into a perspective that is less influenced by deficits. In the open sessions the caregivers can switch their role of the companion / supporter / in-charge into somebody who is working on his own artistic practice. During the workshop the participants explored a variety of artistic techniques. 

How Language Makes a Difference 

The workshop aimed to consider the language we use when speaking about older people and people living with dementia, exploring aging and dementia as separate but connected topics. Language can inform attitudes and behavior. The workshop gave an opportunity to discuss and explore this.

Last modified: Friday, 3 November 2017, 8:11 PM