Rock Against Ageis FSS – FESCH.TV


Addressing age bias is inherently intersectional, because everyone ages. It’s rare, however, for age advocacy to be given an intersectional platform like the one the First Supper Symposium provided so brilliantly on May 8 & 9th in Oslo for AGE-ISM: SPEAKING ACROSS AGES. Attendees were of all ages, spoke many languages, and represented many different cultures and racial identities. The event location in a wonderful gay club helped ensure a range of genders and sexual orientations as well. Presenters included dancers and professors, and presentations ranged from PowerPoints to performance art and a discotheque. The Symposium has set a valuable and highly original standard for addressing ageism from a life course perspective and framing the goal as equity across the lifespan rather than the tired and divisive narrative of “help sad/lonely/incapacitated old people” or “help marginalized/impoverished/angry young people.” We’re all in this together, and everyone encounters ageism—young people too

The symposium brought this point home brilliantly by appropriating a russ bus for a fashion show featuring older models. The busses are associated with high-school kids, and the fashion show subverted that custom in a provocative, joyful, and very entertaining way. I hope the First Supper will continue to harness the power of art-based activism, and invite artists around the world to come up with more age liberation actions like this one.

It was an honor to be part of the 2022 First Supper Symposium—and it was a lot of fun.

Ashton Applewhite, activist and author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

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