The first stereotype busting event for older people is being held at the Halle des Blancs Manteaux in Paris this weekend.
The aim of the ‘anti-stereotype salon’ - taking place from today until Sunday (November 17–19) - is to fight against stereotyping older people and to give them back their voice.
This is an initiative of the Self-proclaimed National Council for Old Age (CNaV) – a citizens' movement which aims to mobilise the "older men and women" throughout France so that they are involved in the public policies which concern them.
“A public event like the one we’ve organised for the next three days seemed to us to be a good way to make the desires, achievements and projects of the old heard and people have registered in large numbers and from all over France to participate in these debates,” Catherine Vincent, a founding member of the CNaV, told The Connexion.
The work of CNaV is gradually spreading throughout France with more than 2,000 supporters.
What to expect from the event
Several hundred elderly people are expected to come together over the weekend, to discuss a range of topics that impact people their age and “they have a lot to say”, according to event organisers.
There will be “debates and conferences with personalities such as Annie Ernaux, Laure Adler, Michelle Perrot, Noelle Chatelet, and Marie de Hennezel, and workshops on topics that directly concern the old including housing and nursing homes, access to culture and rights, their role in society, the sense of age, and the end of life,” said Mrs Vincent.
Visitors can also browse exhibitor stands, attend conferences, go to the bookstore and chat with authors, take photos in a photo booth, eat and drink, but most importantly meet other people from their generation.
“We want the event to be festive and reflective, joyful and civic,” she added.
Be your own spokesperson
According to the founders of CNaV, their movement is about helping people to grow old by being themselves.
CNaV aim to raise awareness, to show the discrimination older people experience and the expectations they are given.
One of the driving forces behind the event is that older people do not want any more spokespeople speaking for them.
The aim for the event is to give the elderly back their voice and their slogan #RienPourLesVieuxSansLesVieux (Nothing for old people, without old people) is there to show just this.