Maude Boutin St-Pierre

Maude Boutin St-Pierre

Actress / Multidisciplinary artist working mainly in theater / Part-time student in anthropology and critical thinking on sexualities / Artistically and personally “obsessed” by stories about intimacy , 25 years old  

Trained in acting at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Québec, Maude has participated in more than a dozen productions since her graduation. Active mainly as a theatre actress, she is also involved in three arts collectives that she has co-founded (Toddlers, Queens, Venus on a bike) as an author, director, performer or producer. In the fall of 2020, she was the recipient of a Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) grant in digital arts and is developing the audio work Parentèle (temporary title), which focuses on the diversity of contemporary parenting models. She is currently pursuing part-time studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Université Laval.
The Habitats project fosters her desire to explore the possible bridges linking different disciplines in art and science.

Amongst all of the questions that resonate with you about aging and growing old, which one seems the most essential for you that you would like to share ?

At the moment, I’ve identified three approaches to the question - which are flexible, intertwined and influence each other.

  1. The administration of a multigenerational living environment - in my case, a  housing cooperative - the joys and challenges that it implies, and the parallels we can draw between this microcosm and the societal situation at the larger scale.

  2. The various conceptions of intimate housing, relationships that unite humans to others over years and the rights and responsibilities that stem from such conceptions.

  3. Social pressure surrounding  the image of “aging well”, mostly that concerning people identifying as women. And by extension, feminist activism by middle-aged women.

From your own experiences, tell us about a significant moment or event in your personal or professional life that shaped your perspective around aging.

When I was younger, my grandmother would always say: “Me, I’ll go away before becoming a vegetable! I’ve hid away some little pills from the time that I was a nurse, I can just swallow those and I’ll fall asleep without pain, with all my head.”

But the pills have probably been lost, forgotten, passed the expiry date… My grandmother is now in a nursing home, and cohabits with Alzheimer’s disease for more than ten years.

It haunts me, this sad symmetry between her past fears and her present reality. This intimate situation led to a change in my perspective of aging: having watched a loved one’s mental capacities slowly crumble away, to the point that she’s unaware of her worst nightmare becoming reality… this fatality seemed intolerable to me.

Today, as I live in a multigenerational housing cooperative, watch my own parents age and imagine the years to come, attend a course in anthropology of aging, my perspective of these issues slowly becomes more complex.

It would be a pleasure to exchange with this team to raise multiple in-depth questions.

During our meetings last October, you imagined taking some first steps, the first actions. Can you remind us what they were? Can you tell us what happened when you put them into action?

If, in the coming months, you were given the time, energy and resources to set up a (new?) project based on our common questions, what would it be?

According to your experiences and your expertise, where is the vitality, the curiosity, the strength to act on the realities of aging?