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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Exhibition: Living with PTSD ...

Background
I’m a British Armed Forces Veteran.  I was ignorant of the fact that I had contracted Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the course of my duties at the age of nineteen in 1983.  I wasn’t screened for PTSD when I left the Armed Forces in 1985.

It was another twelve years before a diagnosis was made, following a serious Road Traffic Accident that I was lucky to survive.  I can only describe that twelve year period as ‘Hell’.

PTSD can be very debilitating and I was eventually retired on ill health in 2006.  I have worked on three things since then:

  • My Photography
  • My Poetry
  • Raising awareness of PTSD in Veterans

I’ve been taking photographs with an SLR camera since 1981.  It was my way of relaxing when I was off duty in the Royal Air Force.  In 2006 I realised just how much of an important coping mechanism photography is for me.

It gives my life purpose and helps me to be able to leave the confines of my home and venture out alone to places in different areas and other countries.

This exhibition uses poetry to show the contrast between the pain and torment that I experience with PTSD and the powerful healing medicine of nature through photography. 

Photography became my therapy and enabled me to connect with the Earth in a very deep way.  I’ve been lucky enough to see some wonderful sights.

  

Purpose
To demonstrate the use of creative therapies as a coping mechanism for PTSD.

To educate disabled artists about their Intellectual Property rights.

To raise awareness of the condition, PTSD, so that people can recognise the symptoms and seek appropriate help.



Method 
To exhibit 13 prints and 13 poems.
To hold three workshops during the course of the exhibition:

  • For Veterans and people related to or in relationships with Veterans to explore the issues from both their perspectives in an open forum.

  • For disabled artists to learn how to promote their photography on the internet without falling prey to people/companies that don’t respect their Intellectual Property rights.

  • For trainee or practising counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and support/customer services staff.  Covering issues such as setting up a ‘Veteran friendly’ interview environment and how to deal with Veterans displaying verbal or physical aggression.

To provide signposting for people seeking support or treatment related to PTSD through leaflets etc.



Venue
Leicester People’s Photographic Gallery
2 Wellington Street, Leicester LE1 6HL


Dates
The exhibition will go up on 4th November 2013 and be taken down on 2nd December 2013.  The exhibition will be open for public viewing  from 5th November to 30th November 2013 inclusive.


Fundraising for the exhibition
The main source of funding will be through the sale of photographic prints and from my poetry books.  If you would like to help support my aims, please purchase my books and prints.  

The books are:


The prints are in 5 categories:

A Percentage of any profits will be donated to Combat Stress to be used by the Occupational Therapy department to enable other Veterans to use some form of Art as a therapeutic coping mechanism for living with PTSD.
I hope that you'll support my project and tell other people about it through Facebook, Twitter etc and email.

I need your help, so please get involved.

Periodic updates will be posted here on Blogger, Facebook and Twitter

Regards

Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu






Osprey - Nature section

Osprey - Nature section
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