Going of Age
An remarkable similarity in (Western) fiction stories is that our main characters, the protagonists, are young in 99% of cases: children, teenagers, young adults, or adults. The older the characters, the less we see this stage of life portrayed in our stories. This applies not only to books but also to TV, movies, and podcasts.
How can we explain this lack of representation of older people? Are we so obsessed with youth, the future, hope, potential, and ability that older characters would inadvertently confront us with the slowness of life, with dependence, loneliness, and impending death? Do we therefore turn our eyes, hearts, and stories away from them? And is this only a Western (capitalist) problem?
In this program, we ask three writers to think beyond stereotypes (the wise old person, the angry conservative, the lonely…) that fuel our fear of aging and death. We ask them to compose a new chapter. A story in which aging, being old, alongside the known vulnerabilities, will also display life attributes such as experience, courage, talent, revolutionary power, dreams, and sexuality. Because, bear in mind, the elderly in the world – potentially all of us, because time is ticking for everyone – deserve our hope and imagination!