Forget-me-not song is a heartwarming art project about aging and dementia, seen by singer Kim Erkens (30). Kim visits elderly people suffering from dementia with music, the strongest way of communication. By hearing a song which has significant meaning, the brain is stimulated and can bring back memories or feelings. Hereby it may be possible to get contact.
“I’ve noticed that this project is very valuable for family members. The’re often looking for a way to get in contact with their loved one. But they’re also saying goodbye, often for years already, to the one they once knew so well.” – Kim Erkens
A Forget-me-not song is a personal and musical encounter between Kim and a person suffering of dementia. She will talk with the family and identify a song that has a special connection with person. Aside from singing the song she will also listen to whatever the person wants to tell her. Singing this song is a way of getting in contact with potentially forgotten memories or feelings. This process can create emotional and sometimes funny moments. Kim will record this on video. A forget-me-not song will stimulate the memory of an elderly person and makes new, unique memories for the family.
“I am a musician for years, performed on large stadiums but i’ve never got so many warming reactions as with this project. What i really liked, and didn’t expect, is that the family members showed other visitors their loved one. They were so proud of their granny or wife. I was really moved by it.” – Kim Erkens.
The video portraits will be brought together in an exhibition, with the consent of the family. The exhibition shows the strength of music and warming encounters with Kim. This exhibition aims to inform people about dementia and create a positive view on aging.
The first exhibition was shown at the opening week of Tolhuistuin. During this try-out exhibition the visitors were touched by the portraits displayed.
In 2015 the exhibition expanded with new portraits. The exhibition took place in art locations, healthcare facilities and other organizations.