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Can conversation be a form of care? I think a lot about the ways in which VTS teaches, but perhaps less than I ought to about how it can also be used to nurture and sustain, to connect and to heal. When we discuss an image with a group, is there an opportunity to create connections between people that in and of themselves become part of the process of caregiving?

In this edition of Site Specific, Siobhan McDonald relates how she has used VTS to connect with and support people living with dementia, both in-person and online. The scenes and discussions she describes in vivid detail remind us that VTS can bring us closer and create spaces not just of conjecture and creativity, but of reminiscence, reflection, and care. Her work is a testament to how thoughtful adaptations of our practice can support people with different needs and abilities, such as those with memory loss. She gives powerful anecdotal testimony about her experiences, as well as practical advice for others wishing to facilitate these discussions.

What are other ways VTS discussions might become a form of care? I have found reading and working on this essay inspirational and hope that you will as well.

Special thanks to Amy Chase Gulden, peer reviewer for this edition; and Kabir Singh, co-editor.

Madison Brookshire (he/him) is an artist and educator who lives and works in Los Angeles. He is currently a Lecturer at University of California, Riverside in the Departments of Art and the History of Art.

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