Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Technology & Ageing photo exhibition tours UK parliaments

A major photography exhibition which challenges preconceptions about older people and technology is touring the UK parliaments.

The exhibition features winning images from a UK-wide competition launched in 2011 by KT-EQUAL, a research consortium dedicated to extending quality life for older people, and Age UK with its partners Age NI, Age Cymru and Age Scotland.

Entitled ‘Left to our own devices’, the original competition ran from October to January and attracted hundreds of entries from both amateur and professional photographers.

Gadgets and gizmos:  © Ian Hinchliffe
A panel of expert judges selected 12 winning images, not just for their photographic merit but for the way they challenged stereotypes related to the central theme of older people's experiences with technology.

The winning images are grouped in four categories, each commenting on a particular area of experience:
  • Gadgets and Gizmos: Do today’s devices work for older people? Do they live up to their promise?
  • In the Home: How can technology help with the challenges of daily life? Does it help fight loneliness and isolation – or does it perpetuate it?
  • Out and About: Can technology help older people to maintain independence for longer?
  • an open category

Gail Mountain, Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield and director of the KT-EQUAL consortium, said:
Out and about: © Vu Duc Loc Tho
“The judges looked at hundreds of great entries from all over the country. We’ve ended up with twelve images that tell fascinating stories about older people and the devices they interact with.

“My hope is that these images prompt everyone – but especially politicians and those who design gadgets – to re-examine their preconceptions, and think about the role that technology plays in all our lives.”

Professor James Goodwin, Head of Research at Age UK, said:
“This competition is valuable because it highlights the potential of technology in this fast-moving world to enhance the lives of older people. It also shows that technological solutions can be life-changing even when they are very simple.”

The exhibition’s appearance in the Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Northern Ireland, marked the first time the winning images have been viewed by the public. The images have also been presented in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, and will finish with a major reception in Westminster in June 2012.

For more details
·         For media enquiries, print copies of the winning images, and photos from the events, contact: Toby Wardman, KT-EQUAL Communications Officer,

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