Artful Dementia

A Citizen Science Research Lab

Artful Dementia Research Lab (ADLab) is both a research and an intervention project financed by UiT The Arctic University of Norway. On the basis of situated interventions with the creative and performative arts the ADLab has a twofold goal:

(1) to advance knowledge on how to enact dementia beyond individual human loss

(2) to promote research-based cultural change and increase awareness on how to create meaningful reciprocal relations between people living with and without dementia.

The Artful Dementia Research Lab at UiT The Arctic University of Norway conducts research on innovative understandings of ageing and dementia. On the basis of experimental interventions with the creative and performative arts our researchers investigate other ways of living with and relating to dementia. Series of art interventions become thereby a mode of social science knowledge generation. Through developing a new conceptual repertoire, research conducted within the Artful Dementia Research Lab contributes to complementing medical and pharmacological interventions with experimental art interventions that are sensitive to socio-material dimensions of everyday life.

ADLab is located at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research at UiT and funded by UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The project is led by Ann Therese Lotherington, Professor and Vice Dean for research and development at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and coordinated by Lilli Mittner, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research.


The Artful Dementia film is based on a set of video recordings collected during the kick-off session of the project ‘Shorelines’ at Bergsodden residential care home in February 2020. All those who wanted to participate had been informed about the broad outline of the project, and that the whole session would be filmed. All participants, and legally authorized representatives (next of kin) when needed, gave informed and proxy consent in advance. Furthermore, we collected consent by editing by watching the film together with the residents and their next of kin who all agreed orally to publish it publicly and make it available for researchers and others who work to change perceptions of dementia. ® Artful Dementia Research Lab / RESULT at UiT The Artic University of Norway 2021 Citation: Lilli Mittner, Tiia Grøn, & Terje Bergli. (2021). Artful Dementia Film 2021. UiT The Arctic University of Norway.



  • Barad, Karen Michelle. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. E-Duke Books Scholarly Collection. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Bartlett, Ruth, Trude Gjernes, Ann-Therese Lotherington, and Aud Obstefelder. 2016. “Gender, Citizenship and Dementia Care: A Scoping Review of Studies to Inform Policy and Future Research.” Health & Social Care in the Community, March, n/a-n/a.
  • Basting, Anne. 2020. Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care. New York, NY: HarperOne.
  • Basting, Anne Davis. 2009. Forget Memory: Creating Better Lives for People with Dementia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Bellass, Sue, Andrew Balmer, Vanessa May, John Keady, Christina Buse, Andrea Capstick, Lucy Burke, Ruth Bartlett, and James Hodgson. 2018. “Broadening the Debate on Creativity and Dementia: A Critical Approach.” Dementia, April, 1471301218760906.
  • Kontos, Pia, Alisa Grigorovich, Alexis P Kontos, and Karen-Lee Miller. 2016. “Citizenship, Human Rights, and Dementia: Towards a New Embodied Relational Ethic of Sexuality.” Dementia 15 (3): 315–29.
  • Latimer, Joanna. 2013. “Being Alongside: Rethinking Relations amongst Different Kinds.” Theory, Culture & Society 30 (7–8): 77–104.
  • Latimer, Joanna Elizabeth. 2011. “Home, Care and Frail Older People: Relational Extension & the Art of Dwelling.” In Perspectives on Care at Home for Older People, edited by Christine Ceci, Mary Ellen Purkis, and Kristin Björnsdóttir, 35–61. New York: Routledge.
  • Medeiros, Kate de, and Aagje Swinnen. 2018. “Social Connectivity and Creative Approaches to Dementia Care: The Case of a Poetry Intervention.” Resilience and Ageing : Creativity, Culture and Community, 65–86.
  • Swinnen, Aagje, and Kate de Medeiros. 2018. “‘Play’ and People Living With Dementia: A Humanities-Based Inquiry of TimeSlips and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.” The Gerontologist 58 (2): 261–69.
  • Zeilig, Hannah, Julian West, and Millie van der Byl Williams. 2018. “Co-Creativity: Possibilities for Using the Arts with People with a Dementia.” Quality in Ageing and Older Adults 19 (2): 135–45.



Articles and Book Chapters


Conference Presentations, Poster & Workshops

  • Karoline Dalby, Lilli Mittner, Rikke Gürgens Gjærum (2020). Verksted: Hvordan er vi sammen? Situert kunstintervensjon som mulighetsrom for mennesker som lever med demens. Kunst og velferd. En konferanse om kunstens plass i velferdsstaten 23.-24. april 2020, Oslo
  • Mittner, L., Lukić, D., & Lotherington, A. T. (2019). Workshop on Feminist Art Interventions | Shaping Spaces of Possibility through Co-Creative Action. Kjønnsforskning NÅ! Tromsø 13-15 Novembre 2019
  • Mittner, L., (2019). Situert kunstintervensjon som mulighetsrom. Aktiv deltakelse for mennesker som lever med demens. Aktive eldre og aktiv aldring 7. norske kongress i aldersforskning, Fornebu 24-25 Octobre 2019
  • Lukić, Dragana; Mittner, Lilli; Lotherington, Ann Therese (2019). Exploring transformative powers of the arts for societal change: reimagining life with dementia through co-creative artistic encounters. The Museum for All People: Art, Accessibility and Social Inclusion, Madrid. 2019-04-02 - 2019-04-05 2019.
  • Mittner, L., Lukić, D., & Lotherington, A. T. (2017). The Role of the Artist in Arts-Based Dementia Care. Poster at the 27th Alzheimer Europe Conference “Care today, cure tomorrow” 2017-10-02. Berlin.
  • Lotherington, Ann Therese; Obstfelder, Aud; Zuiderent-Jerak, Teun; Jerak-Zuiderent, Sonja (2017). Artful Dementia: Experimental Arts Interventions for Gracious Living. Dimensions of Ageing - A Multidisciplinary Seminar. The Norwegian University Center in St. Petersburg, 26-28 September 2017 





Conference Participation

Privious and upcoming conferences, workshops and seminars in which UiT's Artful Dementia Research Lab presents scientific work and connects to a variety of research communities.


Last Chapter: A Late Life Festival


Futures of Ageing. Femtenkt Workshop, 25. october 2020, online

Nordic Arts & Health Research Network meeting 22.-23. september 2020, online

Kunst og velferd. En konferanse om kunstens plass i velferdsstaten 23.-24. april 2020, Oslo (cancelled)

Last Chapter: A Late Life Festival 19.-20. June 2020, Bergen (postponed to 2021)

Embracing difference – investigating other ways of living with and relating to dementia through theoretical conversations and practical arts interventions: Revisiting Donna Haraway’s “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others”.  2.-3. September 2020, online



Den sjuende norske kongress i aldersforskning 24.-25. oktober 2019, Fornebu 

Gender Studies 2019 Conference: On Violence 24.-26. October 2019, University of Helsinki

The Museum for All People: Art, Accessibility and Social Inclusion. International Conference 4.- 5. April 2019, Madrid

ESA Conference 2019, SP07: “Ageing in Europe: Agency, Citizenship and the Dynamics of Power” 20. - 23. August 2019, Manchester



Dimensions of Ageing – Multidisciplinary Seminar, 27. Septembre 2017,  St. Petersburg 

27th Alzheimer Europe Conference  “Care today, cure tomorrow”,  2. - 4. October 2017, Berlin



2016 4S/EASST conference „Science and technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures”´, 31 August - 3. September 2016,  Barcelona 

23rd Nordic Congress of Gerontology 19. - 22. June 2016, Tampere

Gender Studies in Debate: Pathways, challenges and interdisciplinary perspectives INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS,  25. - 27. May 2016, Lisboa

ADLab webinars

#1 ADLab Webinar: Clothing the clown. Creative dressing in day-centre for people with dementia (Ruud Hendriks, Maastricht)

#2 ADLab Webinar: Challenging Perceptions of Old Age and Art (Ingrid Tranum Velásquez, Copenhagen) 

#3 ADLab Webinar: The situated/spatial ethics of dementia activism research (Professor Ruth Bartlett, VID Specialised University)

Artful Dementia – A Citizen Science Research Lab

Artful Dementia Research Lab
Centre for Women’s and Gender Research
UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Postboks 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø
Logg inn / Login