The Reunion Project is a unique multi-faceted program that combines portrait photography and the written word to give senior women an opportunity to reflect back on their lives, who they were as teenagers and who they are now. The Project is best thought of as a performance piece where the women participants who engage in self-reflection become the performers. Their stage is the exhibition space where their images and words are displayed.
The Project involves groups of women aged 65 and older who share a common bond or life experience. When they gather for me, I take a portrait photograph of each. They also respond in writing, but anonymously, to a series of prompts that I supply. The prompts include invitations for self-reflection such as "Then I was.... Now I am," and "I used to think... Now I know." After the gathering, I create a diptych of my portrait of the woman next to a teenage photo that she has provided to me. In addition, the women's written responses to my prompts are assembled into the collective voice of the group. Then I create an exhibition of the diptychs and the women's self-reflective words.
The goal of the Project is to give my subjects an opportunity to look back on their lives, to have a reunion with their teenage selves, while giving them a voice to share decades of acquired wisdom with younger generations.
Since its inception in 2013 15 groups from five states have participated in the Project, including fifty women from the Brookline Senior Center and from Goddard House Assisted Living, also in Brookline. Portraits of these women were displayed in both venues for an extended 4-month exhibition. That exhibit was then displayed first in the main branch of the Brookline Public Library, and then in Brookline Town Hall for an additional 3-month exhibition.
Reunion Project Participants
2013 Weaver High School 50th Reunion, Hartford, CT
2013 Women’s Week, Provincetown, MA
2014 Sisters of Saint Joseph, Jubilee Reunion, Concordia, KS
2014 Temple Aliya Sisterhood, Needham, MA
2014 Temple B’nai Or Sisterhood, Morristown, NJ
2015 Wellesley College 55th Reunion, Wellesley, MA
2016 Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, Waltham, MA
2016 Fairhope Friends, Fairhope, AL
2017 Goddard House, Brookline MA
2017 Brookline Senior Center, Brookline, MA
2017 Overlook Retirement Community, Charlton, MA
2018 Standish House Assisted Living and Memory Compass Support Community, Boston, MA
2018 Neville Center at Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA
2018 Loomis Village Retirement Community, South Hadley, MA
2018 Compass on The Bay Memory Support, Boston, MA
2019 Briarwoods Community Assisted Living, Worcester, MA upcoming
If you are interested in learning more about bringing the Reunion Project to your facility please contact me at email@example.com.