The Post War Dream and its Afterlives
My research arises from the study of ageing and develops a methodology which explores how the ‘everyday’, such as stories about houses, streets and neighborhoods, allows people from different generations to build empathy in research relationships. The work uses Caerleon, south Wales, as a case study to consider economic, technological and social change through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Caerleon is a suitable site to study ageing as statistics from Newport City Council (2017) convey that a fifth of citizens are aged 65 and above.
On a theoretical level, this study explores how spaces act as thresholds and allow the body to connect with levels of unconscious which may not otherwise reveal themselves – connecting to phenomena considered to be ‘non-representational’ by geographers such as Nigel Thrift, Ben Anderson and Paul Harrison. To explore such a body-to-mind connection my work uses walking interviews – both outdoors and sat down – where we follow a line to recall memories and emotions. An important element of my practice is to collaborate with writers and performance artists to represent and explore interview materials as public site-specific performances.
With an ESRC Fellowship I will be able to make conference presentations and publish peer-reviewed articles, concerning the methodology and to investigate how the Post War environment of semi-detached houses, cul-de-sacs, roads, and shopping centres still influences contemporary life. Another key aim is a small trial of a new online method for walking interviews. The work will be shared more widely through quality digital films that I will make from media resource gathered through PhD interviews in 2019, alongside some new material produced in collaboration with performance artists.
Mentor: Angharad Closs Stephens, Geography, Swansea University
Swansea University profile https://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/human-and-health-sciences/centre-for-innovative-ageing/singleton-a/