What does it mean to care, to be cared for, to be caring, to be a carer? Who cares and who do we care about?
From self-care to healthcare, on Friday 6 July Wellcome Collection will be transformed for its next Late Spectacular, ‘Handle With Care’, taking a thought-provoking look at the acts of care central to our everyday lives. Through live performances, conversations and a live radio show, visitors will be able to explore how we could think more carefully about how we handle ourselves, each other and our world with care.
Broadcast live in the building and streamed online, radio presenters Nikki Bedi (BBC World Service The Arts Hour and BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends) and J P Devlin (BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live) will host Wellcome Collection’s very own Care Radio. Featuring interviews, music and expert discussions exploring topics including children in care and the language of kindness, the one-night-only radio show will also share listeners’ top tips on self-care as well as their song requests.
A specially created Care Café will provide a space for visitors, and especially carers, to gather and share their thoughts on what it takes to give and receive care in a familiar café environment. Further discussions will take place in sessions running like dinner parties, with members of the public debating topics across the table, and a ‘Public Studio’ workshop will explore how digital technologies can be used to support those who are dying.
In the galleries, visitors will encounter specially commissioned performances to question how we look after ourselves and how public services can best provide care. Author Lucy Hutson will reveal her experience of three weeks spent in a psychiatric unit, considering the state of current care structures as well as utopian possibilities for the future. Hawaiian-born performance artist Stacy Makishi will also perform ‘Malama Maki’, inviting visitors to join her for sacred humour, cheeky ritual and ancient rock-’n’-roll witchcraft designed to care for the soul.
Guests will also have the chance to have a chat and a cocktail with London-based arts charity Magic Me, whose volunteers deliver cocktail parties at care homes to provide residents with the opportunity to socialise with one another and combat the potentially quiet and lonely evenings.