The Resemblage Project: Remixing Scarborough’s Stories of Aging

Key Terms: aging; intergenerational; storytelling; digital storytelling; Scarborough; social justice

Lead: Andrea Charise

Collaborator: Celeste Pang

Website: www.theresemblageproject.ca

About the Project

The Resemblage Project is a digital intergenerational storytelling initiative based in Scarborough, Canada. Responding to the need for stories of aging that reflect profound difference, while sensing in distinct aging experiences the possibility of shared collective action, The Resemblage Project is an emergent, community-facing digital multimedia initiative dedicated to inviting, assembling, and imaginatively re-presenting stories of aging. Launched in June 2019, The Resemblage Project is dedicated to exploring aging as and in terms of intersectionality and assemblage by involving students, scholars, artists, activists, and community members from across the city—and across the life course—who are imaginatively exploring what it means to grow older in Canada. Each digital story is the result of a coming together: of grandchildren and grandparents, educators and students, the arts and sciences, activism and academia. Out of this convergence comes new ways of seeing and being in the world, and new possibilities for collective action. One element that distinguishes The Resemblage Project is the foregrounding and documentation of our process in addition to the hosting of completed digital stories. The “Documents” page includes a comprehensive list of scholarly references and creative resources, and includes a description of the creative decisions that influenced the design of the project logo. The logo recapitulates this project’s major concerns: the final three letters, “AGE,” are situated on the threshold of the logo’s inner and outer boundaries; while older age and ageing is similarly left on the fringes of society, The Resemblage Project aims to bring age back into the common fold of thought. The choice of font, known as “Toronto Subway,” deliberately evokes Toronto’s city transit infrastructure, thereby situating this particular intergenerational storytelling work within a particular national and civic context—and the decades-long controversy regarding inequitable access to public transit that has long been part of Scarborough’s deeply racialized and socioeconomic marginalization within the “Greater Toronto Area.” Heeding the call of Audre Lorde’s insight that “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes we hope to bring about through those lives,” The Resemblage Project signals an ongoing commitment to changing the quality of light by which we view aging–and each other–across generational selves.

Outputs

Charise, A. “On Applying the Arts and Humanities in Austere Times.” The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities (eds. Paul Crawford, Brian Brown, Andrea Charise). Routledge, 2020. 18-26.

Charise, A. “Resemblance, Diversity, and Making Age Studies Matter.” Chapter in Teaching Health Humanities(eds. Olivia Banner, Nathan Carlin, Thomas Cole). Oxford University Press, 2019. 188-206.