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Exhibit at Children's Museum Focuses on Old Age

Dialogue with Time leads participants to relate differently to the elderly and old age.
By Yoni Kempinski & Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/19/2012, 7:31 PM

The Israeli Children’s Museum in Holon's new exhibit, Dialogue With Time, leads participants to relate differently to the elderly and old age. Two earlier exhibits -- which have attracted 850,000 people in Israel – gave visitors an emotioally stirring perspective on the worlds of the blind and the deaf.

“Dialogue With Time is a unique and exciting project that the museum and its partners have been working on for three years,” says Israeli Children’s Museum director Gil Omer. “I truly believe that this project, like Dialogue in the Dark and An Invitation to Silence, will change the stereotypes about old age and create an intergenerational dialogue.”

Dialogue With Time is the handiwork of the same creators of Dialogue in the Dark and An Invitation to Silence, Dr. Andreas Heinecke and Orna Cohen. Partners in this project included the Pensioners’ Affairs Ministry, the Matav Care and Welfare Association, Eshel, the Fellowship Foundation and the Nadav Foundation.

The guides at the Dialogue With Time exhibit are at least 70 years old; each a fascinating personality in his or her own right, who will give visitors insights into their world. Using role-playing and games, the visitors, both children and adults, enter the world of the aged.

The stops along the way include:

The Tunnel of Questions: Upon entering the maze, the visitor is visually flooded with stereotypical age-related questions.

The Yellow Room: Here the visitor experiences how daily activities feel to an elderly person.

Welcome to the Club: Here the participants get to hear their guide’s personal story, and will get a glimpse of how they themselves are likely to look as they gradually age.

The Playing Field: Here the group plays various humorous games that deal with stereotypes about the elderly and age-based prejudice and discrimination.

Looking Forward, Looking Back: Visitors are asked to choose between two doors; whichever one they choose, a surprise awaits them that offers insights that could change their lives.

Working it Through: The journey and dialogue ends with the group and their guide discussing what they’ve just experienced.

The exhibit is open to adults and children over 12 who come with family, or from age 14 and up in school groups.