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Redefining Later Life

Introducing Alex Rotas - Photographer, Speaker and Writer

60 is the new 60.

Alex Rotas challenges stereotypes about ageing through photography, speaking, writing and getting old herself. She loves tennis, swimming & running and is proud to be an ambassador for England Athletics #RunTogether and Active Ageing (Bristol).

   
Ageing is changing. Governments, health service providers, insurance, leisure & construction industries, even the United Nations are addressing not just a growing older demographic, but the value of an increasingly active & healthy senior population. Yet, in popular culture, the over 60s are still more likely to be portrayed as infirm, immobile, silly, redundant, sick, spent & sad.

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Swim England SW Region Masters Swimming Comp, September 2018, Weston-Super-Mare

Swimming, UK

World Masters Athletics Championships, Malaga, Spain, September 2018

Masters Athletes

BMAF Open Track & Field Champs, Birmingham, August 2018

Masters Athletes, UK

European Masters Athletics Championships 2017: Aarhus, Denmark

Masters Athletes

Indoor Rowing Championships 2017

Indoor Rowing

REtirement in ACTion (REACT) Study 2016-17

REtirement in ACTion (REACT)

South of England Squash Masters Championships 2016

Masters Squash

British Masters Open Indoor Championships 2017

Masters Athletes

British Masters Open Outdoor Athletics Championships 2016

Masters Athletes

Irene Obera, 81, USA.

Masters Athletes

Postcard Collection

Masters Athletes

Gardening & Allotmenteering

Gardening & Allotmenteering, UK, USA

Bay Village of Sarasota

Retirement Communities, USA

The Joe Dome

Masters Athletes, USA

Hockey LX and Over 75s

Hockey, UK

Skydivers & Jumpers (set 2)

Skydivers, UK

British Masters Open Indoor Championships 2014 (set 2)

Masters Athletes, UK

British Masters Open Indoor Championships 2014 (set 1)

Masters Athletes, UK

European Masters Games 2011 (set 1)

Italy, Masters Athletes

European Masters Games 2011 (set 2)

Italy, Masters Athletes

Indoor World Masters Games 2012, Finland (set 2)

Masters Athletes

Indoor World Masters Games 2012, Finland (set 1)

Masters Athletes

European Veterans Athletics Championships 2012, Germany (set 2)

Masters Athletes

World Masters Games Turin 2013 (set 2)

Italy, Masters Athletes

World Masters Games Turin 2013 (set 1)

Italy, Masters Athletes

British Masters Open Outdoor Championships 2013 (set 2)

Masters Athletes, UK

British Masters Open Outdoor Championships 2013 (set 1)

Masters Athletes, UK

“Outstanding and Inspirational”

“Dr. Rotas does an excellent job of blowing up demeaning stereotypes of aging and opening our eyes to other possibilities – even if we can’t all be Masters athletes.”

Patricia L. Dawson, MD, PhD, FACS, Seattle, Washington.

Blog

Contact Alex

Email:

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The 'New' Ageing Narrative

Ageing is changing. Governments, health service providers, insurance, leisure and construction industries, even the United Nations are addressing not just a growing older demographic, but also the value of an increasingly active and healthy senior population. And yet, in the media, the over 60s are still more likely to be portrayed as infirm, immobile, silly, redundant, sick, spent and sad.

Retired academic and competitive tennis player Alex Rotas first pondered this anomaly in 2006 whilst researching for her PhD:

“I started turning my attention to older competitive sportsmen and women, partly because I was becoming one myself. From looking at visual images, critiquing them and bemoaning the absence of positive pictures of older people focused and actively absorbed in their lives, I found myself thinking that these were the kinds of pictures I’d like to try to take and make myself.” Dr Alex Rotas

Alex Rotas

Photographer | Writer | Speaker

A few years later, Alex found herself a photography teacher, bought her first camera and began an ‘encore career’ as a documenter of what the UN describe as this “unique and irreversible process of demographic transition” through photography, writing and speaking.

From this standing start, Alex is now firmly positioned as one of the UK’s most compelling commentators, and examples, of ‘the new ageing narrative’. As well as exhibitions in America and across Europe, and speaking tours in USA and Canada, here are a few more career highlights to date.

Career Highlights To Date

Commonwealth GamesLike The Wind MagazineGrowing Old CompetitivelyPublic Health SpacesScience Photo LibraryAge Action Alliance

Photographer's Statement

My recent projects photographing veteran sports men and women stems both from my love of sport and from my academic interest in the kinds of images that are associated with ageing. It is also fiercely motivated by a desire to challenge some of the assumptions associated with the social construct of ageing, assumptions that link getting older with decline, passivity, increasing helplessness and physical and mental deterioration. Older athletes transgress these commonly held attitudes: they are determined, by definition very physical and active, focused, enthusiastic, joyful, and full of life. Older women athletes are even more transgressive in their competitiveness, physicality, strength, speed and toughness: attributes all associated not only with youth but also with a masculine ideal.

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Although you become a ‘veteran’ in the sports world at the tender age of 35, my real interest lies in photographing athletes in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. These people demonstrate that ‘lifeyness’ (if I can call it that) and vigour do not necessarily decline with age. They show too that it’s possible to look wonderful without pretending to be younger than you are. Competitive veteran sportsmen and women have all the lines and wrinkles that come with their age but they look amazing as they push themselves physically and mentally to achieve new goals. There are always new records to break in every age group as you get older so these athletes are constantly working to better their techniques and to maintain, if not improve, their performance.

We’re all used to seeing photos of athletes but not perhaps these sorts of athletes. And while not everyone can be – or even wants to be – an athlete, I hope that my images remind us all of what’s possible as we age and force us to think again about our attitudes towards ageing.

NEW: 2018 Calendar SOLD OUT

SOLD OUT

2018 Calendar SOLD OUT


Please for multiple copy orders and/or to pay by cheque.
 

Buy My Book

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Get Alex's Book

Growing Old Competitively

A celebration of athletes and of the process of growing older, this 56-page book showcases Alex Rotas' photographs of inspiring older athletes and their stories. A must-have for anyone interested in track and field athletics, in physical activity and in looking optimistically and joyfully at so-called old age.

Buy DirectBuy OnlineBuy In Store

For Delivery within the

UK only

Personalise your order by requesting a handwritten message from Alex inside the book. Leave blank if none required.

Please for multiple copy orders and/or to pay by cheque.

For delivery within the

EU, except UK

Personalise your order by requesting a handwritten message from Alex inside the book. Leave blank if none required.

Please for multiple copy orders and/or to pay by cheque.

For delivery within the

USA & other non-EU

Personalise your order by requesting a handwritten message from Alex inside the book. Leave blank if none required.

Please for multiple copy orders and/or to pay by cheque.

Inspiring Photographs of Older People and Positive Ageing

Purchase Prints for Your Health Space

The images Alex captures tell human stories which grab our attention, draw us in and have us rethink what’s possible in our own lives. This makes them particularly powerful in sports, health and wellness spaces.

From temporary displays (eg. Glasgow 2014 Commonweath Games) to permanent collections (eg. North Bristol NHS Trust's new Southmead Hospital and the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital) photographs with captions explaining who it is and what he or she is doing have proven to be wonderfully positive, with patients, staff and visitors who find them inspiring and uplifting.

To find out more about how your sport, health or wellness space could also benefit, please CONTACT ALEX DIRECTLY.

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Speaking

Book Alex to speak at your event.

Alex In Action!aq_block_48

“Outstanding and Inspirational”

“Dr. Rotas does an excellent job of blowing up demeaning stereotypes of aging and opening our eyes to other possibilities – even if we can’t all be Masters athletes.”

Patricia L. Dawson, MD, PhD, FACS, Seattle, Washington.

“Interesting and Engaging.”

“Alex Rotas puts her heart into the wonderful pictures that she takes. Our residents were charmed by the stories behind each of her photographs and by the way Alex delivered them.”

Petra Mueller,
Wellness Co-ordinator,
Bay Village of Sarasota Retirement Community, Florida.

“Don’t miss it!”

“Alex is a superb photographer who is passionate about her work. This is an hour that may permanently change your expectations about what it means to grow old.“

Brian Barry, Resident,
Vi at La Jolla Village Retirement Home, California.

Interactive. Entertaining. Motivational. Uplifting.

A Talk For All Ages, All Situations

Choose from Alex's Signature Talk, or one of 3 others outlined below.

or to make a booking enquiry, please .

Rosemarie Kreiscott

Running to Gold in the women’s 100m 80-84 year old category at EVACs 2012.

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Olbrechts and Maynard

After their 100m race at EVACs 2012.

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Sue Yeomans

Clearing the bar to win Gold at the World Masters Games 2013, Turin.

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Signature Talk

Growing Old Competitively

The photographs and stories from my book showcasing world-class competitive athletes in their 60s through 90s come alive.

One of the joys of photographing people is getting to know them. What drives them? What scares them? What brings them joy?

Hosted Q&A with a Disruptive SeniorThe Truth About AgeingConfessions of an Encore Careerist

Tony Bowman

Shows the pain as he crosses the line at EVACs 2012 in Germany.

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Leontine Vitola

Shows her relief on crossing the line in Silver medal position in the 400m, 75-79 year group, Turin 2103.

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Allan Martin

Silver medal winner in the men’s 800m, 85-89 year old group, Turin 2013.

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Kendal at Hanover

“Put Kendal on your probably long list of fan clubs!”

Kendal at Hanover

“Put Kendal on your probably long list of fan clubs!”

Media Mentions

A few places you can find Alex

An Interview with BBC Bristol - 23/05/16

Alex was invited onto The Twelve O'Clock Show with Lizzy and Chrissie Listen Here

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Like The Wind Magazine £9.00

Get your copy of the fourth issue of 'Like The Wind Magazine' featuring Alex's photos of masters athletes in the 80s and 90s sprinting for gold. Order Now

aq_block_69 Like The Wind MagazineAlex at work





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