Dialog with Time. The Interactive Exhibition
The exhibition was originally held in Frankfurt’s museum for communication (Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt) before moving to Museum for Communication Berlin. It was opened here on March 31, 2015, by German Federal President Joachim Gauck, who held a keynote speech on new notions of age in a society in which people live longer. At the exhibition’s new home, visitors can explore how older people experience the world around them until August 23, 2015.
Why an exhibition on the topic of old age and aging?
We live in a society with a high life expectancy. This shows what great progress we have made and is something we should be pleased about. Nevertheless, an increased number of senior citizens is often regarded as problematic, with old age and aging associated with a reduction in quality of life. A preponderance of negative viewpoints stops us from responding creatively and constructively to the issues of old age and aging, influencing not only our expectations of how we will age and live in old age ourselves but also the way different generations interact with each other. The exhibition therefore plays a key role in enabling both young and old to approach old age and aging in an interactive and experience-driven manner, as well as in prompting a discussion on how we view age in our society.
- "Let’s consciously rethink old age – in terms of notions of aging that highlight the potential harbored in this phase of life. Then we can turn an aging society into a strong, self-determined one that celebrates the fact people live longer," said Federal President Gauck in his speech to mark the opening of the exhibition.
Five themed areas provide a wealth of inspiration for discussing ideas and experiences in a group with the senior-citizen guides. Visitors do not just tackle their own aging process; they also explore the way other people age and demographic change in general. Alongside a dialog between the generations, the exhibition gives visitors the chance to try things themselves: for example, groups can see what it’s like to climb stairs as an older person or how much of a challenge it is to open a front door while your hand shakes. In a playful take on "retirement," visitors can also learn how getting older may represent a clean break – with positive stories of aging showing that your golden years can be a time of enrichment as well as a time of restriction. The result is a nuanced image of aging and old age that dispels prejudice.