As our elders move into care facilities, they live among people with whom they have no shared history. This can result in a sense of alienation. Nontropolis shares global cultural events and celebrations that strengthen community and create a sense of belonging. Anyone is welcome in Nontropolis, anyone can belong to Nontropolis, a place that is nowhere in particular and everywhere at the same time, a place that creator Marcel Baaijens calls home.
About author Marcel Baaijens
Marcel Baaijens is a creative coddiwompler: somebody who travels purposefully to unknown destinations. The purpose of his coddiwompling is to enrich the lives of our elders and those living with dementia. Marcel is a qualified art and dance educator with over 30 years of international experience. Come and follow him, for he is not tourist, but a creative coddiwompler, travelling purposefully to celebrate life.
Nontropolis Facebook Page
Become a 'real-time' armchair travelleby following Marcel's coddiwompling through the Nontropolis Facebook Page. The latest (short) stories and photos are posted most days. On the blog you can read more elaborate travel stories in The Coddiwomple Journals. These can also be downloaded for free through the shop. You can subscribe to the blog and get the latest edition delivered directly to your email.
Life can throw its challenges, and that does not stop whilst one is travelling. A camera lens is my portal to the beauty in the world; colours, shapes, compositions, and unique moments in time. It requires a shift in focus from pain, struggle, or ugliness to beauty and harmony. In that sense it can very very transformative and therapeutic. You may not be in a position to take photos at a time when you would like, or need to. Enjoying somebody else's photos can be a good alternative. My favourite images are presented in these galleries. You can order free e-cards, paid digital downloads, and prints. With time many galleries will be added. Click here or on the image above to access your favourite gallery. Enjoy!
Sketching and painting on location, provides an opportunity to linger, to spend quality time, to connect. It allows for digestion of a locality at a cellular level: from observing through ones eyes, and feeling with ones heart and gut, to the brain and hands onto paper. It gives time to absorb the unique sympathetic vibrations of a place or scene, to connect at a deeper level. This process nurtures the soul, which for me is the importance of art and culture, be it with a lower case, or capital 'A' or 'C'. The magic is in the creative process, the finished product merely a bonus. You can buy originals or prints that resonates with you.
Film is more than 25 frames per second. When filming I am very much guided by what I hear, such as the sound of a tram squeaking its way around a tight corner in a narrow street. Sound tells a different part of a story. You can expect videos of various durations. Explore this gallery for clips, shorts and downloads. (under construction)
Armchair Travel Resources
Anyone can follow Marcel's coddiwompling via the blog page on this website or the Nontropolis Facebook Page to your hearts content. In addition, activity professionals can download slideshows, powerpoint presentations, and travel documentaries for use with their residents. Visit this gallery for resources and trailers.
Marcel holds a Masters in Art and Art Education degree and has 20 years experience as an art educator. He is specialised in facilitating creativity and art projects for people with low technical skills and/or limited linguistic comprehension. He will develop activities and creativity projects suitable for our elders, based on events and cultures he will encounter on his travels. Downloadable resources for individuals and activities professionals will be available in this gallery.
Sitdance sessions and courses for our elders, including those with dementia, are therapeutic and fun. Marcel produces music, choreographs meaningful movements, and then films tutorials on relevant outdoor locations. Visit www.sitdance.com for more more information or go directly to the shop to purchase on this site.
Help Nontropolis grow!
Marcel is dedicating his life to creating meaningful cultural activities for our elders and those with dementia. For this he will need to travel extensively. He has been on the road since 5 May 2015. It is his objective to keep cost down and make resources accessible and affordable. He is independent and self-funded. Any support to keep him going will be much appreciated. You can support him by:
- telling others about Nontropolis
- hosting Marcel if you can (check the map on the right to see where he is in the world)
- donate $1 or more through the shop.
I love to hear from you!
Write to Marcel! He loves to hear from you. Give feedback, ask questions! Most of all he loves to hear from our elders. Share the love publicly by simply commenting on a blogpost on this site or the Nontropolis FaceBook page. Get in touch privately if you want a visit by, or to meet with Marcel, or help on any shape or form. Hewill reply! You can contact him through the contact form on this website or through FaceBook messenger on the Nontropolis FB page.