Hidden Voices is a unique look at older people and ageing in Northern Ireland today, through the lens of older people who are volunteers with Age NI.
The exhibition came about through the iniative and leadership of the volunteers who are part of a 40 strong Consultative Forum with Age NI. They wanted to engage with and talk to older people around Northern Ireland, especially those who are hard to reach, to find out about the reality of ageing for people today.
A group of 15 volunteers designed a proforma as a basis for their dailogue,a nd carried out conversations with 110 older people across the province. They collated the results according to the themes which emerged:
- Realtionships and friendships
- Life as a carer
- Rural isolation
- Coming to Northern Ireland and living there
- Living with a disability or illness
Partnership and Collaboration
Thanks to joint funding from the Arts and Older People project (Arts Council NI),a nd Age NI, the volunteers took part in a series of photography workshops before choosing and photographing their subjects for the exhibition. In addition, students from the South Eastern Regional College collaborated with Age NI, creating an additional element to the project, where the students created portraits of the volunteers, including the 5 Age NI photographers and other members of the Age NI Consultative Forum. These portraits are also on display as part of the exhibition.