Donna Rutherford as a presenter and cook, links a constant flow of observations and experiences, whilst creating an identifiable domestic environment around the ritual of making soup. Picture credit Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Broth

Seannachies >

Research Themes

Loneliness, social isolation, storytelling, elders, creativity, community. 

Research question

Exploring the role of creative approaches to give voice to communities of elders and inform policy decisions.

Research staff

Lynn Sayers-McHattie, Cara Broadley and Ed Guilia.

Funding

Scottish University Insight Institute.

Partners and Collaborators

Led by GSA's Innovation School in collaboration with the School of Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Gray’s School of Art.

Seannachies explores the role of creative practice and storytelling in addressing loneliness and social isolation. Seannachies is a network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers whose aim is to give voice to communities of elders through creative approaches and storytelling to develop a richer understanding of loneliness, and in doing so consider innovative ways to create and sustain social cohesion. We wish to reposition the perceptions around elder communities by demonstrating the richness of their narratives, life experiences and wisdom to inform policy change in action.

Seannachies have held a series of storytelling events  - workshops, open mics and events – for both particpants and audience, there have been lessons in deep listening and experiencing how our shared practices can bring forth empathetic responses and feelings of mutual connectedness and support.

Broth, a performance commissioned by Seannachies, gives voice to older people about their transition into later life. Through a process of informal interviews to camera, video footage and research, Donna Rutherford as a presenter and cook, links a constant flow of observations and experiences, whilst creating an identifiable domestic environment around the ritual of making soup. By providing a platform for unheard voices, Broth presents a realistic, wider picture of living into older age. The perspectives in the Seannachies project and the Broth performance provide material to begin a re-imagining of all our later years and of adding quality to the quantity of years still to be lived. 

“It’s lovely to be able to think back to long ago. Maybe we need to do that. Maybe that’s one of the pillars of survival - the ability to do that.” A Broth participant.

“Increases in life expectancy are considered one of the major achievements of our age yet one woman tells us she never thought she would be old. This points to a tension between growing old physically and growing old in the imagination. The perspectives in the Seannachies project and the Broth performance provide material to begin a re-imagining of all our later years and of adding quality to the quantity of years still to be lived.” Dr Pete Seaman, Glasgow Centre for Population Health.