Published: 13-02-2020 12:52 | Updated: 26-01-2021 17:16

Unique Arts & Science project with Focus on Aging

Elderly person at mirror
Aging in unique Art and Science-project. Photo: Cecilia Öhlund.

The Arts and Sciences come together through a collaboration between a division of NVS, Aging Research Center, and the Stockholm School of Photography in a project about aging. Public lectures and an exhibition will allow the general public the possibility to access the research, the collaborative process and the students’ photos. The exhibition opens on the 25th of February at Folkuniversitetet.

During Autumn 2019 ARC contacted the Stockholm School of Photography at Folkuniversitetet to ask if they would be interested in a collaborative project about aging where they would produce photographs of older people related to the research conducted at ARC. The response was positive and the project has resulted in 20 photography students creating 15 unique portraits of people across Sweden each.

“This Arts and Sciences project has exceeded all expectations regarding the working procedure and results. It’s a great example of how working across disciplines can be uncomplicated and give additional value through added inspiration for work and meaningfulness for all involved. Furthermore, the research is made available to the general public and the photographs produced are given further meaning related to us all, as we all age.” Isabelle von Saenger, Project Leader ARC/KI.

The project amounted to 20 students at the Stockholm School of Photography being tasked with interpreting the research conducted at ARC about aging, older peoples’ health, and their living conditions.  It was also important that the students used their own experiences and references when portraying older people in their daily lives in Sweden today.

Among other things, this collaboration explores how the merger between “objective” research and the “subjective” photographic form can be expressed. It is also an example of how research can be communicated outside the walls of academia and in new formats. A short documentary film about this collaboration has also been created.

“From my understanding this is one of the first times that research has been interpreted in this way. With regards to how much exciting research that is being undertaken, it is strange that more of the results are not expressed through different artistic disciplines. Interpreting research evidently makes it more accessible for the general public.” Mikael Cronwall, Head of Education at Stockholm School of Photography.

About ARC and the Stockholm School of Photography

The Aging Research Center

ARC was established year 2000 by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University. Some of the photographs in this project have been used to illustrate ARC's Activity Report 2017-2019. You can find more information about the Aging Research Center at their website.

Contact person at ARC: Isabelle von Saenger

Fotoskolan STHLM

The Stockholm School of Photography has been active for approximately 60 years and is a part of Folkuniversitetet. Find out more about the course which the students in this project attended, by visiting:

Contact person Fotoskolan STHLM: Mikael Cronwall

Free lectures and exhibition in Swedish

The lectures will be held in Swedish on the 25 February and 4 March 2020 between 18:00 and 19:30 at Folkuniversitetet, Kungstensgatan 45 in Stockholm. Register at the website.

At both lectures there will be an introduction of the collaborative project between the Stockholm School of Photography and ARC. The exhibition is held at the same place week 9-11.

25 February 2020, between 18:00 and 19:30 - Carin Lennartsson, ARC

"Who is "old" in Sweden today?

4 March 2020, between 18:00 and 19:30 – Neda Agahi och Isabelle von Saenger, ARC

"Ageism and the Voices of Older People"