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Understanding medicine through the arts and humanities.
Introduction
Mission: Medicine Unboxed engages the public and front-line NHS staff with a view of medicine that is infused and elaborated by the humanities. Contributors include artists, writers, the clergy, poets, philosophers, lawyers, linguists, musicians, theatre, ethicists, academics and doctors. The results are thought-provoking, inspiring, sometimes funny and often moving.

Background: Good medicine is more than a set of technical decisions and interventions involving drugs, operations or tests. It demands more of the practitioner - professionalism, empathetic care, moral consideration, insight, an understanding of human suffering and necessarily, wisdom. These attributes are not always prioritised in selecting for or training healthcare professionals, and there is little time or attention given to their authentic development within busy working environments.

Further, there is a widening hiatus of trust, understanding and expectation between medicine and society around what constitutes good medicine. This pressingly requires real engagement around medicine’s role and society’s values. A purely scientific answer will never prove sufficient here.

The term ‘Medical humanities’ describes disciplines, which engage the relationship between Medicine and the Arts. Humanities such as fine art, literature, philosophy, ethics and contextual studies, inform medicine through unique insights into the human condition and the individual experience of Illness and disease, from both patients’ and practitioners’ perspectives. This is important, as it equips the medical practitioner with reflective, empathetic and analytical skills essential for providing good care.

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Consciousness, Imagination and Poetry

Medicine Unboxed at Keats House, 30 April 2015

The brain is a mass of tangled matter held in a case of bones. Is it here the universe stops and becomes conscious, suddenly sees itself, perhaps imagines itself? All our thoughts, our reasoning, our feelings unfurl from here – even our impulse to art, to poetry.

Join Semir Zecki, Michael Symmons Roberts and Samir Guglani for a stimulating evening of poetry and discussion with 
Medicine Unboxed.

Register at Eventbrite

http://keatsevents.eventbrite.co.uk
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The brain is a mass of tangled matter held in a case of bones. Is it here the universe stops and becomes conscious, suddenly sees itself, perhaps imagines itself? All our thoughts, our reasoning, our feelings unfurl from here – even our impulse to art, to poetry. Join Samir Guglani, Semir Zecki and Michael Symmons Roberts for a stimulating evening of poetry and discussion with Medicine Unboxed.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/consciousness-imagination-and-poetry-tickets-14684689301
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Stefan, it will be held 21-22 November 2015 and will be themed Mortality....
Watch out for content in the months ahead.

MU
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TIFFANY ATKINSON WINS MEDICINE UNBOXED CREATIVE PRIZE 2014 

Poet TIFFANY ATKINSON, winner of the Academi International Poetry Competition and whose first collection 'Kink and Particle' was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, has won the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014 worth £10,000.

Tiffany's entry, a collection of poetry to be published by Bloodaxe, explores through fragmented lyric and multiple voices the ways in which we experience ourselves medically, the alien (for most people) rhythms, behaviours and language of the hospital environment, and beneath all this, the interrupting, disturbing and often embarrassing experience of being in a body.

Introducing Tiffany as the winner, Medicine Unboxed Artist in Residence Tom De Freston emphasised the extraordinarily high quality of the nearly 80 entries for the prize, the astounding depth and power of the seven shortlisted artists, and that Tiffany's entry represented a unique exploration of language, medicine and the body and that her work perfectly demonstrated what the prize is intended to achieve.

Tiffany's third collection 'So Many Moving Parts', also published by Bloodaxe, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

The other shortlisted artists were:

Agnes Davis (poet and screenwriter)
Helen Ivory (poet)
Pascale Petit (poet)
Eduardo Miranda (composer and researcher)
Ravi Thornton (cross-media artist)
Victoria Hume (songwriter/performer)

The judges, led by Professor John Carey, emphasised that while Tiffany's entry was the clear winner, they wanted to particularly acknowledge the entry by Eduardo Miranda - which describes his work creating the Brain-Computer Music Interface - as being a unique and powerful blend of medicine, technology and artistic contribution. 

The Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize was funded by D&D Leasing and founded through a private bequest from Goula and Noel Conway. 

You can read and hear more about, and from, the winner, Tiffany Atkinson - and about all the shortlisted artists - on any of our Vimeo, Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook channels. Just search for 'medicineunboxed'.
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On Friday 14 November, the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014 judges - Melanie Pappenheim, Tom De Freston, John Carey, Rhidian Brook and Philip Gross - met at Merton College, Oxford. They decided the winner of the £10,000 prize to be awarded at Medicine Unboxed: Frontiers on Sunday 23 November. 
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Hear Ravi Thornton talk to Tom de Freston about 'HOAX', her entry for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014.

HOAX is based on a poem written by Ravi's younger brother, Rob, during his several-year-long period of schizophrenia. During his illness Rob wrote hundreds of poems. The poems were expressions of his varying state of mind – sometimes lucid, sometimes confused – and constitute an honest portrayal of his illness. Rob committed suicide in May 2008, aged 31.

https://vimeo.com/111020873
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Have them in circles
175 people
Armin Hamidian's profile photo
lobna ahmed's profile photo
Jade Gibson's profile photo
Lisa Guirguis's profile photo
Ali Sabti's profile photo
Anjalee Verma's profile photo
generose fabian's profile photo
Peter English's profile photo
Claire Farmer's profile photo

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Melbourne, Australia: Producing the Medicine Unboxed Book

Peter Thomas - Creative Director, Medicine Unboxed

We're happy to say the the Medicine Unboxed Book - a limited run of 300 copies - has just finished production.

We wanted to give the book to buyers at Medicine Unboxed 2014, but we felt that the book wasn't quite what we wanted and so we decided to print it again.

We'd like to thank everyone who bought copies for waiting. It will be with you soon.



As I live much of the year in Melbourne, Australia, I wanted to work with a local printer and chose Press Print Digital who mix hand-crafted production with modern digital print technologies.

The Medicine Unboxed Book for 2014 is in the form of a 'chapbook' - a small publication containing religious messages, political opinions, poetry, and pieces of folk literature. Just as chapbooks played a part in the growth of literacy, our book aims to promote understanding of the relationship between the arts and medicine.

The design reflects the idea of a handcrafted book - but brought up to date. We chose not to make the book paperback size but instead designed the book as A4, which we think provides a different reading experience. The design and layout of the book, including the text ornaments for each piece, was by award-winning advertising director Paul Arrowsuch, and gives each of the 25 pieces in the book the best opportunity to look great on the page.

The book covers were designed by Tom de Freston, Medicine Unboxed's artist-in-residence. Tom created unique works to reflect the themes of Medicine Unboxed. The outside cover images, and the illustrations on the inside covers are, as Tom says, "like a box or a window viewing through to different moments" that represent the pieces collected in the book.

Even it it isn't made entirely by hand as the early chapbooks were, we wanted the book to be physically engaging. Press Print suggested that we stitched the book manually using a Singer sewing machine. We have used a variety of threads, so that not all of the books are are the same.

The Medicine Unboxed Book contains often previously unpublished essays, poems, songs, stories and images from Medicine Unboxed contributors including Susan Aldworth, Tiffany Atkinson, Julian Baggini, Bobby Baker, John Bell, Deborah Bowman, Rhidian Brook, John Burnside, Havi Carel, Agnes Davis, Tom de Freston, Charles Fernyhough, Philip Gross, Bob Heath, Tom Isaacs, Helen Ivory, Jackie Kay, Roger Kneebone, Jane MacNaughton, Eduardo Miranda, Tim Parks, Pascale Petit, Jo Shapcott, Ray Tallis, Ravi Thornton and Salley Vickers.

We hope that those who bought the book will enjoy reading it as much as we did producing it.

All profits from the book go to support the Medicine Unboxed Prize next year.



The Medicine Unboxed Commonplace

For Medicine Unboxed Unboxed next year we will be producing a Commonplace Book.

Commonplace books (or simply commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge; a kind of scrapbook filled with various found items - medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Each commonplace was unique to its creator and provided an insight into their interests, expertise and obsessions.

During 2015 we'll be asking you to contribute your obsessions, insights and favourite pieces of wisdom to the Medicine Unboxed Commonplace.

Look out for details on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and G+ pages.
If you would like to buy one of the remaining unsold copies of the Medicine Unboxed Book, please email

peter@medicineunboxed.org
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Here, by request, is Sam Guglani's opening for Medicine Unboxed:Frontiers 'Fingerprints', along with a link to the track that started the event 'iTMOi (in the Mind of Igor): Courting', by Nitin Sawhney and Jocelyn Pook.

Fingerprints.

Look at how we start, like fortune-tellers, at the hands. Here by the window, where ward meets world, I examine this man’s, turn them over like found leaves. They're remarkable, creaseless, a baby’s, glass palms reflecting my own: now white, now brown. He laughs at my surprise. A tree surgeon’s hands, he says, my skin pressed steadily into other life, its bark and blood, just like you doc I bet, your fingerprints handed to others. His hand shakes in mine, shakes mine. I listen to his heart. Not scared, he says, not of this anyway; but maybe, look, of that daytime moon, the lit rock of it, what it is, what it means we are. Or those starlings, did you see this morning? Against the sky like flung dust. I think our bodies are this, that we merge really, collide and become the breath of others. Here, he says, go on, have a whiff. My fingers drum his chest. Did you hear those sounds, he asks, from that comet, like whale song, mermaids? The ship they landed, its name, what, Philae? - it means end, or place’s edge, some frontier where things meet. That girl on my street told me when I dropped her a pound. She's like you, dark-skinned but sodden cold. Will you see her now on your rounds? Listen to her? It’s these distances I regret - enormous, tiny - their harm. I shine a light in his eyes. Hard now to tell which of us is speaking, where the voice comes from. One of us says thank you. I go to wash my hands but, seeing them in the water, I stop, turn, return to him.

http://open.spotify.com/track/1O4TdK4LuHGxoYpAIDSzKW
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Images from Medicine Unboxed: Frontiers held at The Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham on 22-23 November 2014. 
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TIFFANY ATKINSON WINS MEDICINE UNBOXED CREATIVE  PRIZE 2014 

Poet TIFFANY ATKINSON, winner of the Academi International Poetry Competition and whose first collection  'Kink and Particle' was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, has won the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014 worth £10,000.

Tiffany's entry, a collection of poetry to be published by Bloodaxe, explores through fragmented lyric and multiple voices the ways in which we experience ourselves medically, the alien (for most people) rhythms, behaviours and language of the hospital environment, and beneath all this, the interrupting, disturbing and often embarrassing experience of being in a body.

Introducing Tiffany as the winner, Medicine Unboxed Artist in Residence Tom De Freston emphasised the extraordinarily high quality of the nearly 80 entries for the prize, the astounding depth and power of the seven shortlisted artists, and that Tiffany's entry represented a unique exploration of language, medicine and the body and that her work perfectly demonstrated what the prize is intended to achieve.

Tiffany's third collection 'So Many Moving Parts', also published by Bloodaxe, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

The other shortlisted artists were:

Agnes Davis (poet and screenwriter)
Helen Ivory (poet)
Pascale Petit (poet)
Eduardo Miranda (composer and researcher)
Ravi Thornton (cross-media artist)
Victoria Hume (songwriter/performer)

The judges, led by Professor John Carey, emphasised that while Tiffany's entry was the clear winner, they wanted to particularly acknowledge the entry by Eduardo Miranda - which describes his work creating the Brain-Computer Music Interface - as being a unique and powerful blend of medicine, technology and artistic contribution. 

The Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize was funded by D&D Leasing and founded through a private bequest from Goula and Noel Conway. 

You can read and hear more about, and from, the winner, Tiffany Atkinson - and about all the shortlisted artists -  on any of our Vimeo, Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook channels. Just search for 'medicineunboxed'. 
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medicineunboxed
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Discussion  - 
 
On Friday 14 November, the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014 judges - Melanie Pappenheim, Tom De Freston, John Carey, Rhidian Brook and Philip Gross - met at Merton College, Oxford. They decided the winner of the £10,000 prize to be awarded at Medicine Unboxed: Frontiers on Sunday 23 November. 
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Pascale Petit talks to Tom de Freston about her entry for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 'Mama Amazonica', a sequence of poems about her mentally ill mother who was put in a children’s asylum when she was nine and spent decades of her life in and out of psychiatric wards, undergoing treatments.

Pascale says about her entry: "Through these twelve poems I attempt to transform and universalise her illness by metaphorically transposing her and her hallucinations into the Amazon rainforest and into creatures in a zoo. They are bids to love her despite our lifelong estrangement. I had a difficult relationship with her, as she was too ill to bring me up. Her psychiatrists were unable to diagnose her definitively, but she suffered from acute mania, depression and psychoses, and died as a result of medications that weakened her digestive tract. To try to understand her mental states, I visualise her as a giant water lily in an Amazon backwater, as a jaguar girl, a snow leopard woman, a wolverine, the first giraffe in France, a great grey owl, and as a manatee and octopus in water tanks in the tropical greenhouse of a zoo. The final poem ‘The Hummingbird Whisperer’ is a prayer to the surgeon who operated on her for ulcerative colitis caused by cumulative side effects of medications; she died in the recovery room afterwards. In this poem I imagine her opened body full of hummingbirds."

https://vimeo.com/111040106
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Over on our VImeo channel you can find the first of a series of excerpts from interviews between artist-in-residence Tom de Freston and our shortlisted artists for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize. The interviews were filmed with the support of international law firm DWF. 

The first excerpt is Tom talking to Agnes Davis about 'LaLa', Agnes' entry for the prize this year. We'll be posting more excerpts from the interviews in the next couple of weeks, and the full interviews - plus some of the judging process and other materials from the shortlisted artists - will form the basis of a documentary about the prize which we'll be producing as a crowdfunded project. 

We'll be talking about the documentary at Medicine Unboxed: Frontiers, when you'll also find out the winner of the £10,000 prize sponsored by D&D Leasing and Noel and Goula Conway.

https://plus.google.com/102669164073341482222/posts/U8STc2RUHqS
Over on our VImeo channel you can find the first of a series of excerpts from interviews between artist-in-residence Tom de Freston and our shortlisted… - medicineunboxed - Google+
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