• From Room 21: Narratives of liminality, shared space, and collective memory in dementia care

      Clegg, D.; Capstick, Andrea (2013)
      Since 2001 the Trebus Project has been collecting first-person narrative biographies of people with dementia, the majority of whom were living in UK care homes. In 2012 David Clegg, the director of the Trebus Project, received funding from the Wellcome Trust's Arts Awards to carry out an interdisciplinary exploration of the narratives of three people with dementia who, by coincidence, had occupied the same care home room (Room 21) at different times. Analysis of the three narratives to date has discovered some uncanny echoes and resonances. The narrators make frequent reference to other rooms which are temporally or spatially connected with Room 21 in some way. There are worm-hole-like exits and entrances to past times and places, and intimations of other rooms within, behind, and underneath this present living space. At points, events in national and social history sheer dizzyingly away from the accounts of them we have inherited from official sources. Extracts from the narratives of Room 21's three inhabitants, Frances, Peter and Shirley, will be presented in a way that juxtaposes the experience of dementia and post-war postmodern consciousness: liminal, fragmentary, frequently surreal, and beyond the reach of universalising accounts of either the 'illness experience' or revisionist history. Plans to disseminate the findings of the project by means of film and dramatic reconstruction will be discussed.