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"Who is it who can tell me who I am?" Understanding Dementia through Art and Literature

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Published on Feb 28, 2014

Speakers: Melvyn Bragg, Dr Andrea Capstick, Professor Justine Schneider
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp

Recorded on 25 February 2014 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Dementia "continues to be surrounded by fear and stigma ... Nearly half of UK adults acknowledge that public understanding of dementia is limited, and 73 percent of them do not believe society is geared up to deal with the condition" according to the Department of Health, who also say a key step involves "raising public understanding and challenging attitudes which may inhibit people with dementia living life to the full".

This panel discussion will explore ways of understanding dementia and dementia care through art and literature, including theatre, participatory videos and the novel with insights from research and personal experiences.

The quotation in our title is taken from Shakespeare's King Lear.

Melvyn Bragg is an award-winning author and broadcaster. His latest novel is Grace and Mary. His first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965 and since then his novels have included The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without A City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Credo, The Maid of Buttermere and The Soldier's Return, which was published to huge critical acclaim in 1999 and won the WHSmith Literary Award. He has also written several works of non-fiction including Speak for England, an oral history of the twentieth century, Rich, a biography of Richard Burton, On Giants' Shoulders, a history of science based on his BBC radio series, The Adventure of English, 12 Books that Changed the World, In Our Time and The Southbank Show: Final Cut. He is president of the National Campaign for the Arts, and in 1998 he was made a life peer. He won an Academy Fellowship at the BAFTA Television Awards in 2010.

Andrea Capstick is lecturer in dementia studies at the University of Bradford. She has been a member of Bradford Dementia Group (BDG) since 1994, and became the inaugural leader of the UK's first BSc (Hons) in Dementia Studies.She holds a Doctorate in Education (EdD) for her work on the use of film and narrative biography in teaching dementia studies, and has published on a variety of subjects including service user involvement in dementia care education; arts based approaches to teaching and learning, and the ethics of visual research. In 2009 she conducted a pilot of the use of Participatory Video (PV) with people with dementia, and has recently been awarded funding by the National Institute for Health Research's School for Social Care Research to extend the use of PV to people living in long-term social care.

Justine Schneider is professor of mental health and social care at the University of Nottingham. Before moving to Nottingham in 2004, Justine was a senior lecturer in the Centre for Applied Social Studies at the University of Durham and a non-executive director, County Durham and Darlington Priority Services NHS Trust. Justine has extensive experience in many aspects of applied health research using a wide range of methodologies and approaches. She has particular expertise in mental health service evaluation, carers, care homes, costs and supported employment. Her current work focuses primarily on dementia and staff development, and she is exploring innovative approaches to knowledge exchange in dementia care.

Martin Knapp is professor of Social Policy at LSE and director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

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