This is My Life was a photography project which took place in Silk Court Residential Home, an Anchor Home based in Bethnal Green. The project was funded by London Catalyst and devised by Magic Me as one of their Our Generations projects. I was commissioned to work with 16 residents, their families and carers to help them tell their life stories. This was particularly important for those residents living with dementia. Old photographs rarely have names, places or dates on the back but slowly through talking with the resident and different family members we put together key events and people in each person's life. These booklets not only record their lives for families, but also help families and carers to better understand the individual. Hopefully, with the help of staff and families, they will continue to add new or past stories and photos. The books have been displayed in the home for all to enjoy.

Residents were also involved in workshops creating a map of stories of the area and making marbled paper. We also put photos around the building and asked residents to try to recognise other residents from old photos.

Through the project residents became more socially interactive and learnt more about each other. Some discovered that they had worked in the same factories, two even realised that they were cousins!

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Below is feedback on the project from a relative of one participant:

"I just wanted to drop you a line after making a family visit to see my aunt at Silk Court. She showed us the beautiful book that you produced for her as part of the “This is my Life” project.
It was clear to see how much this meant to Peggy, and it was very moving for my family and I to hear how much Peggy enjoyed working with Marysia on the project, and how it was a real highlight of the year for her. It was lovely to see the positive effect which your work is having on local people, and how it keeps them engaged and connected by remembering the experiences of their lives.
I’d like to congratulate you on your marvellous work, and to thank Marysia in particular for bringing a lot of happiness to a dear relative of mine."