Queer Crip Aging Resistances: Exploring Aging Temporalities Through Cellphilms

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Megan Hill, Trent University



Research Areas:

Aging and community-driven data

As the Baby Boomer population grows older, aging is an increasingly significant field of study in Canada. Critical scholars have noted that popular culture and policy makers have used neoliberal discourses premised upon the acceptance of the young-old rather than the old, old, to dictate how aging actors should engage with later life. This discourse of aging positions certain groups of marginalized people as abject and failed due to their inability to take up the proper lifestyle regimens to avoid signs of old age. Queer and disabled older adults, in particular, are written out of the heteronormative and ableist discourse of successful aging because they fail to embody markers of success like nuclear families and able-bodiedness. Their life courses are seen outside of a linear progression of time, meaning that are not necessarily tied to conventional life cycle events such as marriage and child-rearing. 

Queer Crip Aging Resistances seeks to centre the experiences of those currently left behind, examining how queer, disabled older adults challenge heteronormative and ableist notions of successful aging through their relations to temporalities. Using a participatory visual research methodology, cellphilming, which utilizes cellphones as familiar and accessible tools, this study facilitated a workshop with 10 queer, disabled older adults in Fredericton, New Brunswick to co-produce cellphilms that share their stories of aging temporalities. This study drew on a Fredericton intergenerational, queer elder organization, ElderPride, to recruit participants for the cellphilming workshop, and together co-disseminated the completed cellphilms in the community through a public screening. This work puts the power of storytelling into the hands of participants, which is especially important within an invisible and marginalized population. This research will provide an opportunity to examine the experiences of those who get left behind by the normative discourse of successful aging and to imagine potential alternative models of aging.