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PhotoSensitive is a diverse group of professional photographers who volunteer their cameras to give a voice to those who are marginalized by popular culture, and they have now taken the initiative to capture the world of aging. In
Canada’s open society, aging is still an uncomfortable topic for mainstream media—but PhotoSensitive has decided to tackle it and shine light onto the lives of older adults with black and white photography. Canada’s photographers are turning their collective lens to reexamine what it means to age.

By 2050, one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65. As life expectancy rises, more adults are healthy and active as they pass that milestone. With this shift in Canada’s population where there are more adults over 50 than youth under 17, how will Canadians change? The normal age of retirement is losing relevance as more seniors are keeping their careers, while on the other hand an increasing amount have not saved enough for their retirement or start too late. Those that must work in old age face discrimination from the job market. Popular media focuses on the youthful demographics and has cast a blind eye to seniors, who are underrepresented and misrepresented on mainstream television, radio, and news. It is natural for PhotoSensitive to provide a more nuanced view of aging.

Aging effects everyone, the focus of aging on the youngest in society is just as important as the oldest. A child born between 1990 and 2010 has a 50% chance of living to 100 years of age. This project is asking for the new generation to think honestly about aging. Students from the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario are participating by exhibiting their ideas in a parallel project, inspired by their own experiences with aging. Students have approached their loved ones to be their subjects, to share their stories of aging through the student’s lens.

This PhotoSensitive project will explore the landscape of Canadian aging. How seniors are staying active in their retirement and falling in love, but also of poverty and overwork without a pension, and the loneliness that aging brings. Together, the exhibit will tell a human story.