Digital Literacy

Since 2011, RECAA (Respecting Elders: Communities Against elder Abuse) has been collaborating with the Ageing Communication Media Network ( on a variety of digital media projects.

RECAA play a vital role within the ACM network: a long term collaboration with RECAA is in process under the title “Activist Ageing and Digital Media”. The goal of this suite of projects, developed together, is to translate RECAA’s methods for face-to-face communication into appropriate digital media forms and formats.

The collaboration with RECAA has gone through several phases:

Phase 1. October 2011- June 2012. In this first phase the Mobile Media Lab (MML) and the Atwater Library and Computer Centre (ALCC) worked with RECAA on the basics of digital filming and editing. In exchange, we learned more about elder abuse and became aware of the strong connection between the ACM/MML’s commitment to participatory media practice and Forum Theatre methods.


1. RECAA’s first video. A five minute film “Respecting Our Elders” filmed by members of RECAA, with editing guidance from Sophie Guérin.

2. A slide show showing images of the history of RECAA was  presented on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

3. Event.  A collaboration on the production of World Elder Abuse Awareness day that involved multiple “acts,” great food, and a spectacular series of portraits of participating elders. This RECAA event was produced in collaboration with COPSI, the ALCC and the MML. It was attended by over one-hundered people and provided a wonderful way to showcase the energy and commitment of seniors to social change.

Phase 2. September, 2012- present. As well as continuing their training in filming and editing with the MML, the grant enabled RECAA to develop new Forum with students from James Lyng High School and new workshops with artist-in-residence Lib Spry.


1. Videos. Several new video productions are in process and will be presented at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in June 2013.

2. RECAA on Youtube.  RECAA published their first Youtube video, a moving analysis by Susie Raphals (who moved to Montreal from the US ten years ago) on guns and the misinterpretation of the American Constitution’s Second Amendment by associations such as the National Rifle Association.  Filmed by Susie’s friend and RECAA coordinator Anne Caines (on her iPhone) Susie powerfully addresses her point of view and arguments to the United States Congress. Susie died four days after the video was shot and these are her parting words to President Obama.

3. RECAA On-Line. The RECAA website, Facebook page, and domain name are under construction and being populated with digital content created by RECAA. 

Phase 3. June 2013- June 2014. Future collaborations. The MML/ACM will collaborate with RECAA on a New Horizons project this coming Fall. Inspired by Anne and Susie’s YouTube video, the focus of the grant will be on the use of social networking and mobile media by RECAA elders. RECAA will use everyday mobile devices to document the history of ageing and activism in Montreal through the stories of  elder-activists who have played foundational roles in initiating and maintaining a vibrant network of community-based organizations for seniors whose contributions to the life of the city have gone undocumented and are often overlooked.