Exhibition title ‘Living with PTSD’
• To demonstrate the value of Photography as a coping mechanism for PTSD
• To educate the public about the effects of PTSD and how it can make a veteran feel
• To help undiagnosed veterans recognise the symptoms of PTSD
• To help friends and families of veterans to recognise symptoms of PTSD
• To provide information about organisations that can help veterans with PTSD
To share how PTSD affects me
To share the therapeutic value of photography
Layout of Exhibition
A square or rectangular room with a central, vertical, rectangular column. The 13 poems will be mounted onto 3 sides of the column. The 4th side will contain details of the relevant agencies able to help veterans, as well as a sheet detailing the symptoms of PTSD.
The 13 images will be arranged on the remaining 3 or 4 walls, facing the words. All the images will be printed on canvas, the dimensions being 36” on the longest side of each piece. Music of Chris Wood, guitarist, will be used.
When viewers walk around the exhibition, they will step into my moccasins for a while. The PTSD in the centre, the photography giving me something to live for and me, walking in between.
36 months – 36 venues to be sought in different cities. Exhibition to last one month at each venue.
Admission fees or donations (if and when appropriate)
Admission fees or donations will be distributed equally between Combat Stress, Help 4 Heroes and the Royal British Legion. Money donated to Combat Stress will be used to treat veterans who are not in receipt of a War Disablement Pension.
I served with the RAF Police between 1981 and 1985. During that time I was posted to Northern Ireland for a 2 year posting (1983-1985) and contracted Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The condition wasn’t diagnosed on discharge from the RAF and I was left unsupported whilst struggling with a debilitating mental health problem that I was ignorant of until 1995, where the condition was diagnosed following a serious road traffic accident.
I would like to help educate veterans and their relatives about PTSD so that people don’t have to live in fear and ignorance of the condition in an unsupported way.
Behind my camera
Behind my camera I am safe,
An observer, no longer a participant,
Disassociated from the chains that bind me,
From the memories that can blind me,
From the trauma that haunts me,
From the society that imprisons me.
Province of Dreams
Memories of uniforms & rifles, bricks & bottles.
Mates suffering in silence, on the edge.
VCPs, patrols, stops & searches.
Invincibility of youth cloaking fears of death.
Staring in the darkness, waiting for the round,
While your oppo freezes and goes to the ground.
Memories of racism going unchallenged, until your mates spoke up.
Memories of piss ups & the darkest of humour,
Dealing with the fear as if it's a tumour,
Leaving you cold, functioning like a machine,
Until you wake up with a silent scream.
Sample Image attached: White tailed sea eagle flying off with a fish.
Please would you start contacting galleries in your local area to see who is interested in holding this exhibition?
All of the words and images are the ©Copyright of V Sunkmanitu 2009