Cogenerational Social Healing

February 19, 2024

On Being and CoGenerate

Elizabeth “Like” Lokon engages with Jane Kenyon’s poem, “In the Nursing Home,” by adding a stanza of her own to the end. Lokon works at the intersection of art, education, and dementia care, and she regularly takes students to nursing homes. In the midst of the poem’s themes of aging, death, and acceptance, she found herself reflecting on the need for supportive relationships at the end of life and thought, “Let’s find her a friend.” The video includes Like’s ending.

The subjects of intergenerational relationship and social healing have long been areas of inquiry at The On Being Project, and this special collection of creative digital work grew out of an ongoing conversation at the intersection of those subjects with the national nonprofit CoGenerate (formerly Together, and alongside many other deep thinkers and innovators, we’ve been holding the question:

What is the role of intergenerational relationship — or what might be called “cogenerational collaboration” — in the work of social healing?

In this collection, we’ve brought participants from CoGenerate’s fellowships into the conversation and are presenting here creative works from eight of those fellows — essays, poetry, video, visual arts, audio, dance, and more — in which they have brought their voices and efforts, as well as those of their communities, to different facets of that question.

We’ve designed this collection to provide openings for reflection into the ways each of us might imagine ourselves drawing on cogenerational wisdom to advance social healing within our own communities. Our hope is that it will offer companionship, inspiration, and resourcing to those who encounter it.

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Krysta Peterson

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