Institute of Care, a project initiated by Vienne Chan, envisions alternative futures of care in collaboration with care receivers and care givers.
Imagine an economy that is based on care, where economic policies see care as a foundational value rather than a cost to be cut. Imagine a society where care facilitates human creativity that contributes to our interdependent wellbeing.
Care is the net that holds human societies together. Yet care work is poorly funded. The elderly are no longer receiving the care they need. The young are financially insecure and cannot imagine what will happen to them in old age. To many, the idea of retiring into wellbeing feels increasingly remote.
The Institute of Care works together with communities to see how our visions for care will be part of our future.
The long-term project was launched in 2021 by rethinking roles, forms and economies of care. A special Care issue of the Maunulan Sanomat local newspaper was published in May 2021, and Playing Care, the first role-playing game of the project was co-produced at the Saunabaari Community Centre with Trojan Horse collective who joined the project in October 2021.
In 2022, several game sessions and workshops have been organised with Metropolia's geronomy students, staff at the Kustaankartano senior centre and the residents of the Töyrytie senior house. In Autumn, the team started developing a new Care Game to be launched in 2023.
The project is a spin-off from the 2020 European Media Art Platform EMAP residency where Vienne Chan together with the Forms of Ownership Collective explored narratives of care. At the end of the residency, the idea to pilot the project in Helsinki's Maunula neighbourhood was born.
Institute of Care is part of M-cult's Maunula Commons programme which aims at the creation of shared resources and practices in collaboration between artists and local communities. The project is supported by a grant by Helsinki City to develop arts and culture activities for the elderly.