Tackling Indifference-Clowning, Dementia, and the Articulation of a Sensitive Body

R.P.J. Hendriks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this auto-ethnographic study, I focus on a special form of clowning for people at an advanced stage of dementia. The miMakkus clown is presented as a specialist in contact with people with whom communication is no longer possible by the usual (linguistic, cognitive) means. I illustrate how the miMakkus clown tries to reach people with dementia, focusing specifically on the role of the sensitive body as an instrument for attunement. As I demonstrate, in their contact, the clown and the person with dementia are involved in a process of mutual articulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-476
Number of pages18
JournalMedical Anthropology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • auto-ethnography
  • dementia
  • disability studies
  • elder-clowning
  • embodiment

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