Riku Laakkonen: “Evolution from a Diaper to Puppet”
Zooming in from Finland, Riku shares his work with the elderly in his talk “Evolution from a Diaper to Puppet”, work that aims to de-stigmatize this object of care. This is a clear example of the power of Applied Puppetry*.
Following the talk will be a Q&A.
Riku writes: “In my research I explore collaboration with material objects and elderly people who have memory disorders. In different artistic experiments I asked “what object is used daily by all those who live and work in nursing home? I determined it was the adult brief or diaper. Material objects are an essential part of interaction between humans and their environment. We employ objects in different contexts and use them all the time. When the adult brief, the object of care, was relocated into an artistic context it became a protagonist. Nurses and elderly persons were invited to see not just a disposable object, but a puppet, a voice and a conduit for expression.”
Riku Laakkonen is a puppeteer, director, actor, and teacher. After studying at DAMU (Theatre Academy of Music and Art) in Prague, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and Turku University of Applied Sciences he has been working with both professionals and amateurs. He is one of the founding members of the Centre of Stage Animation Research (founded 2007). He started his artistic doctoral studies at the Tampere University’s Center for Research Theatre Work in August 2020. His thesis “Object expression and social death: Animation with Kanssa building the weak agency of the elderly” is part of the wider Kone foundation-financed Social Death at the Threshold research project.
This session will be of particular interest to social workers and therapists, working with the elderly. However, the information will be transferable to many settings and concerns. For ages 18+
Date: Saturday, November 25 2023
Time: 11:00 HRS MST
Location: cSPACE (1721 29 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2T 6T7) or online Zoom link. cSPACE offers free parking, cycling racks, convenient access to public transit, and is located along bus routes 6, 7, 107, 13. The theatre is an accessible space, enter from parking lot on the north side of the building.
Accessibility: We are committed to the purposeful inclusion of all people. We strive to reduce barriers and we value everyone’s participation in our programs. If you identify a challenge to you, or others attending, please contact us – we recognize our limitations as a small organization.
If, for any reason, the Zoom meeting link provided to you experiences technical issues, we will immediately send you an alternative link via email (or Eventbrite). This link will connect you to the event hosted on Google Meet, another reliable and user-friendly video conferencing platform.
This event is part of the 2023 Festival of Ideas – an annual conference, produced by W.P. Puppet Theatre Society. It explores the theory and practice of how puppet power promotes and impacts positive social change. In 2023 we ask, how can puppets, ‘metaphors of matter’, help us address our material world?