Leeds Arts Research Centre


Creative approaches to the active ageing agenda through Film and Theatre-making


Occurring in multiple stages, the CINAGE, Mining the Memories, CINAGE Live! and Applying and Integrating European Theatre Training (ATIPIA) participatory projects, comprise a practice-led research enquiry examining how collaboratively produced films and live theatre projects could improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the older population. In 2016, there were 98 million people living in the EU aged 65 or older (Eurostat), making consideration of how we can all be supported to age well a pressing issue at both individual and societal levels.

Supported by a European Commission Grundvig Award, the first two stages of CINAGE engaged groups of older people in the UK, Italy, Slovenia and Portugal; using workshops, educational sessions, and filmmaking to reflect on representations of aging in the media and reflect on local histories. Project participants were given training covering scriptwriting, filmmaking and post-production; achieving community learning through trans-generational pedagogy. These projects resulted in the production of short-films, a Film Festival and Symposium, a Guide for Educators, and a guide to better active ageing. The ‘Mining the Memories’ series of short-films produced as part of the second phase of CINAGE are now archived at the National Mining Museum and the National Film Archive, and the drama 'Coke Not Coal' was shortlisted as Research Film of the Year by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.   

CINAGE Live! And ATIPIA (an EU Erasmus+ funded project) employed a similar approach to intergenerational collaboration and participatory performance production for live theatre contexts. The theatre work ‘Talkin Bout My Generation’ included verbatim and autobiographical texts drawn from the lived experience of the participants, and platformed the concerns of those aged over 60 in the UK following the EU referendum. 

‘Talkin Bout My Generation’ toured nationally with site-specific versions commissioned by Leeds International Festival, the Demarco Archive, Edinburgh and Liverpool Cornerstone Festival.

Brayshaw has further disseminated the active aging methodology through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and screenings at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Gateshead International Theatre Festival, and ELOA (Education for learning of Older Adults) network events in Poland and Denmark.

Findings were also disseminated in the book chapter and film ‘UK Senior Citizens Learn Filmmaking as a Creative Pathway to Reflection and Fulfilment’ and journal article ‘Senior Moments: Reflections on the CINAGE project and Collaborative Audiences', both co-authored by Brayshaw with Jenny Granville.

CINAGE, CINAGE Live! and ATIPIA helped 75 older people in the UK and Romania become more independent, confident, mentally agile and socially connected. CINAGE Live! Participants said: ‘The course has changed my life in many ways’; ‘I’m no longer rejected ... I can contribute to society.’ 

Brayshaw’s projects had numerous positive impacts on participants’ emotional, social and mental wellbeing. Whilst learning new skills, participants felt nurtured, listened to, valued, and that, ‘our lived lives mattered’, ‘making us feel more alive, appreciated and joyful.’

The value of this work has raised awareness internationally of older people’s experiences, provided inspiration for health and wellbeing, educational and theatre-making projects and modelled age friendly methodology for Leeds City Council’s ‘Leeds Arts and Health and Wellbeing Network’; Shoshin Theatre in Romania, the Roy Hart theatre in France; Stand and Be Counted Theatre (SBC) Bradford and the Slovenian Third Age University. 

CINAGE, CINAGE Live! and ATIPIA’s films and performances introduced audiences across Europe, Canada, USA and the UK to the experiences of older people. Christine O'Kelly, Age-Friendly University Network Global Coordinator at Dublin City University, said that CINAGE, ‘has led to raising awareness on major themes relating to ageing and highlighted the benefits of inter-generational collaboration.’ 

CINAGE: Senior Moments

Jennifer Granville, Jenny Zobel and Joe Armstrong
Clown holding bright yellow sign

Research Outputs

'CINAGE: Senior Moments – Reflections on the CINAGE project and Collaborative Advances’

by Teresa Brayshaw and Jennifer Granville

Publication in International Journal of Education and Ageing Journal (date tbc)

‘Discourses We Live By’ – book chapter reflecting on the CINAGE project

by Teresa Brayshaw and Jennifer Granville

To be published by Aarhus University Press (AUP) 2018

The benefits of collaboration and the collective experience in writing autobiographical, self-reflective and personal narrative screenplays; by Jennifer Granville and Ann Tobin 


Contact teresa Brayshaw

Teresa is a theatre practitioner, a writer, a teacher, a researcher, and a qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner. Her ethos is to create environments in which people can learn through movement and awareness, to develop their innate potential and become happier and healthier as a result.
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