Mariam Esseghaier

Concordia University

Mariam Esseghaier is a student in the Joint PhD Program in Communication offered by Concordia University, l’Université de Montréal, and l’Université du Québec à Montréal.  She completed a Master of Arts in English literature from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2008 and a Master of Arts in Popular Culture from Brock University in 2010.  From January 2010 to May 2010, Mariam travelled to Tunisia, North Africa, where she studied Arabic and explored the country.  Mariam’s area of research focuses on the commodification of Muslim women in Western popular culture, with an emphasis on the representation of young Muslim women.

Line Grenier

Line Grenier is Associate Professor at the Département de communication at Université de Montréal in Montréal, Québec (Canada), and leads the Critical Mediations stream of ACT. Director of the research group Popular Culture, Knowledge and Critique (CPCC), she teaches predominantly in the areas of research methodologies, media theory, memory and media, and popular culture. A popular music studies scholar, her work on the history and politics of “chanson”, local music industries, broadcasting and cultural policies related to French-language vocal music, rites and processes of popularization and valorization in Québec, the Céline Dion phenomenon and the figures of fame and celebrity it embodies, as well as the business and politics of live music, especially on the role of small venues in Montreal, has been published in several journals, including Popular Music, Cultural Studies, Recherches féministes, Ethnomusicology, Recherches sociographiques, and Musicultures.  Her research interests have recently focused on the intersections of ageing and music, and the cultures of ageing that take shape therein. Grenier has taken part in a team ethnography of a music contest for seniors, which examines the entanglements of musicking, ageing, and memory.  She has studied discourses and public policies on “active ageing” in Québec, and the ways in which they inform how ageing is performed at different music events featuring older adults.  Through an ongoing collaboration with a community partner, Grenier contributes to digital music workshops designed to explore, among other issues, how ‘old’ and ‘new’ technologies mediate music practices, and how music is experienced differently, throughout the life course.  After having co-lead a participatory pilot project on ageing, deafhood and technologies, she is currently working with the same colleague on “deaf musics”. This pilot project aims at better understanding how ageing Deaf people access and experience music as a cultural practice today, and how they did so in the past.

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Chui Yin Wong


Chui Yin Wong is Senior Lecturer in the Interface Design (ID) Department, Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), Multimedia University (MMU) Malaysia. She also plays a role as an Industrial R&D Liaison for ID. Her research interests are interface design, usability, user experience, interaction design, user and design research, inclusive design, mobile technologies, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Chui Yin is the Malaysia country representative for IFIP TC13: Human-Computer Interaction. In addition, she also serves as the Editorial Board Member for International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. Currently, she is leading a Special Interest Group (SIG) on Universal Usability and Interaction Design (UUID) at MMU.

In 2008, she was the conference secretary for Human Factors in Telecommunication (HFT2008). She has been serving as a Program Committee and/or reviewer for many journals and international conferences in these areas. Her previous project on ‘mobile social network application: MOM-i’, funded by Malaysian Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), won a Silver award under Multimedia category at an international exhibition ITEX 2009. Currently, she is leading several government and industry funded projects. Some of her current projects are ‘Usability of Mobile User Interface for Older Adults in Malaysia’, ‘Senior Grid: Portraying extraordinary lives’. She can be reached at

Un jour ou l'autre


The aim of this documentary film-based research-creation project is to explore the processes of  an elderly couple making the life-altering transition from their home into a retirement residence. This research-creation project poses a series of questions: What does ageing mean for elderly people living in rural Québec? How do they experience the transition from home to residency? Why are they moving?  The film provides a small window into this predicament as a part of what it means to age, what creates a sense of home and how can we grow old together. Using a hybrid method approach, the project presents alternative images and narratives for understanding  changes throughout the life course.“From Home to Residency” connects with specific experiences and lived realities to a larger social context, dominant discourses and perspectives about ageing to offer the audience insight into this particular moment in life. It challenges and situates the performance of reminiscence in the film, as not merely a return to the past, but as a way to move forward into the future from the position of the present.


L’objectif de mon projet de recherche-création est d’explorer, via la production d’un film documentaire, le processus de déménagement d’un couple d’aîné-es quittant leur maison pour aller habiter dans une résidence pour personnes âgées, dans la région du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. Ce projet pose une série de questions générales: Comment ce couple d’aîné-es appréhende-t-il cette transition? Quelles sont les raisons d’un déménagement en résidence? Qu’est-ce que vieillir signifie pour ce couple, à cette étape particulière du parcours de vie? Sans tenter d’offrir une réponse définitive à ce questionnement, Un départ vers la résidence tente d’explorer la manière dont on peut comprendre le vieillissement, le sens du chez-soi ainsi qu’un «vieillir ensemble». Adoptant une méthodologie hybride, le projet tente d’explorer certaines histoires alternatives re/présentées chez ce couple d’aîné-es, à travers leur parcours de vie. Cette recherche-création propose donc une réflexion basée sur les expériences vécues du couple pour mieux comprendre une certaine réalité du vieillissement et savoir s’il est possible de s’éloigner de la perspective réductionniste et pessimiste que cette transition suggère. Finalement, mon intention est de voir comment la production documentaire peut offrir à différents auditoires un regard sur ce moment particulier dans la vie d’un couple d’aîné-es ancré dans le présent et tourné vers le futur.

Mapping Québec on Media Ageing

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Dans la foulée du lancement de la première politique publique sur le vieillissement au Québec en mai 2012, intitulée Vieillir et vivre ensemble. Chez soi, dans sa communautéau Québec ce projet vise à produire une réflexion critique sur les façons dont le vieillissement est posé comme défi collectif et projet politique.  À partir d’une étude de cette politique, de même que de sa résonance dans les médias et sur le web (à partir des documents publiés à la fois en français, en anglais et en espagnol), Il s’agit de tenter de comprendre le discours social sur le vieillissement tel qu’il est notamment produit par des institutions publiques, des groupes communautaires et des associations parapubliques.

Chronologie du projet

Printemps 2012

Analyses préliminaires descriptives de la politique publique Vieillir et vivre ensemble par Fannie Valois-Nadeau et de sa réception médiatique par Alvaro Herrera.

Participation de Line Grenier et Fannie Valois-Nadeau au premier colloque Vieillir c’est vivre. Le vieillissement comme vous ne l’avez jamais vu  de l’Association québécoise des  établissements de santé et de services sociaux (AQESSS), Montréal, Québec.

[su_column size=”1/3″ last=”1″]Researchers: Fannie Valois-Nadeau and Alvaro Herrera


This project is funded by Partnership Development Grants SSHRC

Ageing and/as Enduring

[su_column size=”2/3″ last=”0″]Tortues

Ageing and/as Enduring: Discussing with “Turtles [that] don’t die of old age”

“Turtles do not die of old age” (Films de la tortue, 2010, is a documentary film that examines the everyday life of three elderly men in northern Morocco: Chehma, a former fisherman, Erradi a solitary innkeeper, and Abdesslam, a travelling musician.  The film’s producers, Hind Benchekroun and Sami Mermer give voice to these men as they slowly go about their activities, reflecting on life, death, and ageing.  They don’t do so by simply standing behind the camera to film these subjects  and to record their testimonies. As 24 Images critic Serge Abiaad (2011) argues, they film “with” the participants.

Adopting a similar approach, this paper discusses “with” the film, rather than merely talking about the film and its producers. Entering into dialogue with the film,  I explore some of the issues surrounding ageing and “old age”.  How does the capacity of the film as cultural product and fragment of public discourse,  bring these  to the fore?  More specifically, I explore the performativity of different media, objects and technologies in the life of the film’s three protagonists. The latter, I suggest, are instrumental to the ways in which these men establish, modify, and maintain various forms of connection to their world, their families, their home, and their work.  Through these media and the iterative social relations they make possible these men, and their practices, endure.  Following Isabelle Stengers (2005:48, 44), I consider endurance as the achievement of that which, through its adventures, “goes on mattering,” thereby “succeed[ing] in maintaining some thread of conformity between past and present”.

Chronologie du projet

Printemps 2012

Présentation par Line Grenier, Ageing and/as Enduring: A Discussion with Turtles [that] do not die of old age, Canadian Communication Association (CCA), Laurier University, Waterloo (Ont.).

Été 2012

Rédaction par Line Grenier “Ageing and/as Enduring: A Discussion with Turtles [that] do not die of old age” TEM2012, Online edition of the proceedings of the Technology and Emerging Media division of the Canadian Communication Association.

[su_column size=”1/3″ last=”1″]Researcher: Line Grenier

This project is funded by Partnership Development Grants SSHRC


Activist Ageing

From 2011-2014, the Mobile Media Lab-Montreal (ACM) collaborated with RECAA (Respecting Elders: Communities Against elder Abuse) on a variety of digital media projects. In April 2014, RECAA became a key community partner of ACT. RECAA and ACT are now sharing office space in the ACT headquarters in downtown Montreal.

RECAA came together ten years ago to raise awareness of elder abuse within ethno-cultural communities and to foster a “culture of respect” towards the elderly. Members of RECAA practice Forum Theatre as an alternative model for discussing sensitive issues within the context of ethnocultural difference in Québec. Founded by Brazilian dramaturge Augusto Boal in the 1970’s, Forum Theatre presents short scenes that are non-verbal. A dialogue then takes place with the audience. Audience members are thought of as “spect-actors” and they work with the actors in RECAA to find solutions to the complex dilemmas presented.

RECAA plays a vital role within the ACT network. ACT’s long-term collaboration with RECAA is called “Activist Ageing and Digital Media.” The goal of this suite of projects, developed together with RECAA, is to translate RECAA’s methods for face-to-face communication into appropriate digital media forms and formats.

Our collaboration has gone through several phases (see below).

Phase 1. October 2011- June 2012

In this first phase the Mobile Media Lab (MML) and the Atwater Library and Computer Centre (ALCC) worked with RECAA on the basics of digital filming and editing. In exchange, the ACM/MML learned about elder abuse and became aware of the strong connection between the ACM/MML’s commitment to participatory media practice and Forum Theatre methods.


1. RECAA’s first video. A five minute film “Respecting Our Elders” filmed by members of RECAA, with editing guidance from Sophie Guérin.

2. A slide show showing images of the history of RECAA was  presented on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

3. Event.  A collaboration on the production of World Elder Abuse Awareness day that involved multiple “acts,” great food, and a spectacular series of portraits of participating elders. This RECAA event was produced in collaboration with COPSI, the ALCC and the MML. It was attended by over one hundred people and provided a wonderful way to showcase seniors’ energy and commitment to social change.

Phase 2. September, 2012 - present.

This past year RECAA received a New Horizons grant on ageism and inter-generationality called “The Golden Feedback Loop.”  As well as continuing their training in filming and editing with the MML, the grant enabled RECAA to develop new Forum with students from James Lyng High School and new workshops with artist-in-residence Lib Spry. Kim and Sophie were elected to the Board of RECAA at RECAA’s Annual General Meeting in October, 2012.


1. Videos. Several new video productions are in process and will be presented at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in June.

2. RECAA on Youtube.  RECAA published their first Youtube video, a moving analysis by Susie Raphals (who moved to Montreal from the US ten years ago) on guns and the misinterpretation of the American Constitution’s Second Amendment by associations such as the National Rifle Association (NRA). Filmed on an iPhone by Susie’s friend and RECAA coordinator Anne Caines, Susie powerfully addresses the United States Congress with her point of view and arguments. Susie died four days after the video was shot and these are her parting words to President Obama.

3. RECAA On-Line. The RECAA website, Facebook page, and domain name are under construction and being populated with digital content created by RECAA.

4. A paper. Tactical Mediatization, forthcoming in the Dutch Journal, MediaCulture. The abstract is here:

5. Events. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 13, 2013 at Salle communautaire Galeries du Parc.

Phase 3. June 2013- June 2014. Further Community Collaborations

The MML/ACM will collaborate with RECAA on a New Horizons project this coming Fall. Inspired by Anne and Susie’s YouTube video, the focus of the grant will be on the use of social networking and mobile media by RECAA elders. RECAA will use everyday mobile devices to document the history of ageing and activism in Montreal through the stories of  elder-activists who have played foundational roles in initiating and maintaining a vibrant network of community-based organizations for seniors whose contributions to the life of the city have gone undocumented and are often overlooked.

With the MML’s  commitment to teaching digital literacy in a creative and participatory manner, our collaboration with RECAA underscores the intersection between participatory theatre as method.

Our work with RECAA offers theoretical insight on the use of digital technologies by an activist organization of elders and the willingness and capacity of elders to learn new skills. It also provides us with a deeper understanding of the question and existence of elder abuse in our society.

Kim Sawchuk
Line Grenier

Anne Caines

ACT Partners


Project updates

Ageing and/as Enduring

Ageing and/as Enduring: Discussing with “Turtles [that] don’t die of old age”

“Turtles do not die of old age” (Films de la tortue, 2010) is a documentary film that examines the everyday life of three elderly men in northern Morocco: Chehma, a former fisherman, Erradi a solitary innkeeper, and Abdesslam, a travelling musician.  The film’s producers, Hind Benchekroun and Sami Mermer give voice to these men as they slowly go about their activities, reflecting on life, death, and ageing.  They don’t do so by simply standing behind the camera to film these subjects  and to record their testimonies. As 24 Images critic Serge Abiaad (2011) argues, they film “with” the participants.

Read more


How do Canadians, sixty-five years and older, use cellular telephones? Why do they use them? What are their observations on the shifting landscape of mobile media from their perspective? These questions are at the heart of “seniors and cells,” an interrogation into the way that older Canadians tactically negotiate a variety of barriers to access and make decisions about their media use.

Based on interviews with over three-hundred participants from across the country, seniors and cells includes users often excluded from industry and academic research agendas: the older user.


Forthcoming, 2012 Kim Sawchuk and Barbara Crow, “Remote Grandmothering: Intergenerational Dis/connections and Communications Ecology throughout the Lifecourse,” Guest Editors: Larissa Hjorth and Sun Sun Lim, Feminist Media Studies.

2012 Kim Sawchuk and Barbara Crow, “Seniors, Mobility and Tactical Cell Phone Use,” In Technologies of Mobility in the Americas. (Eds.) Philip Vannini, Lucy Budd, Christian Fisker, Paolo Jiras, New York:  Peter Lang, 2011.

2012 Barbara Crow, Kim Sawchuk and Benjamin Poppinga, “Outside the Laboratory:  Mobile Methods and the User Experience,” wi: journal of mobile media, Spring.

2011 Kim Sawchuk and Barbara Crow, “Pilot Project: Privacy, Communication and Seniors,” Report prepared for PI:  Les Jacobs, York Centre for Public Policy and the Law, “Privacy Rights Mobilization among Marginal Groups:  Fulfilling the Mandate of PIPEDA,” Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 25 pages.

2010 Kim Sawchuk and Barbara Crow, “Talking ‘Costs’: Seniors, Cell Phones and the Personal and Political Economies of Telecommunications in Canada,” Telecommunications Journal of Australia, Vol. 60(4): 55.1-55.11.

2009 Kim Sawchuk and Barbara Crow, “Leave it to Beavers:  Animals, Icons and the Marketing of the Bell Beavers,” In The Nation on Screen. (Eds.) Enric Castelló, Alexander Dhoest and Hugh O’Donnell, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 309-326.

Conference Presentations:

2011 “Maintaining Mobility: Embodiment, Aging, and Tactical Movement,” Mobilities in Motion: New Approaches to Emergent and Future Mobilities, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, March 21-23 and Canadian Communication Studies Association, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, June 1-3.

2011  “New and Old, Young and Old: Aging the Mobile Imaginary,” with Kim Sawchuk, Materialities and Imaginaries, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, February 11-12.

2010  “Seniors and Cells,” with Kim Sawchuk, Cultures of Movement: Mobile Subjects, Communities, and Technologies in the Americas, Royal Roads University, April, 8-10.

2010  “Seniors, Mobility and Tactical Cell Phone Use,” with Kim Sawchuk, DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media, OISE, University of Toronto, November 12.

2010    “Into the Grey Zone: Seniors, Cell Phones and Milieus that Matter,” with Kim Sawchuk. Observing the Mobile User Experience, Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop held in Conjunction with NordiCHI, Rekjavik University, Rekjavik, Iceland, October 17.

ACT Partners
York University
Concordia University