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George, the dog

Babe, my grandpa, was born on the kitchen tiles of a small Seattle home. His dad, whose own grandpa had run a seedy downtown brothel, would disappear and reappear throughout his life. But Babe was not like the men who came before him. He spent his youth delivering newspapers and parking cars to support his mother, went to war when …

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Six photos of my father at 91

I have chosen to tell a story based on six photographs I took of my father, Ivio Duranti (1918-2009) in the last year of his life. He was never diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease, but he definitely had some of the symptoms of dementia, including memory loss, disorientation, apathy, reduced speech production, and occasional hallucinations, even though he seemed able …

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Re-enacting memories

One way to ‘think with dementia’ is to phenomenologically shift from ‘memory’ to ‘remembering’ and to mine ‘remembering’ for its qualities and potentialities as socio-culturally limned experience. Whereas ‘memory’ invokes static mappings of representation and world, ‘remembering’ is temporally emergent. Whereas ‘memory’ invokes individual capacities, ‘remembering’ is a situated, genre-ed activity that invites co-participation. ‘Remembering’ exudes qualities of performance, not …

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Refraction of time

On a Thursday evening, five men gather around a dinner table. [1] Their host, a scientist from Surrey, England, has left them a note telling them to begin eating at 19:00 if he is not yet back himself. And so they do. They are in the midst of speculating about their hosts’ whereabouts when the door quietly opens. Their host