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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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MEDICINE UNBOXED CREATIVE PRIZE 2015

Expressions of interest due: 21 June 2015

We're excited to announce the opening of entries for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2015, a major arts prize worth £10,000 for the winning artist.

The Prize is generously funded by D&D Leasing UK Ltd and Bibby Financial Services, and was founded through a bequest from Noel and Goula Conway.

As last year, the prize is for a creative work that illuminates the relationship between the arts and medicine.

Last year's winner was poet Tiffany Atkinson, whose winning entry was a collection of poems called 'Dolorimeter'. 

Artists working in any medium - visual art, literature, music, performance, digital installation or any other original creative output - can enter the competition.

The winner of the prize will be announced at the Medicine Unboxed 2015 conference ‘Mortality' on 21 November 2015 at the Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham.

The Medicine Unboxed Creative prize has a two-stage process: expression of interest and final submission. 

Artists submit a detailed expression of interest, and those artists shortlisted by the judges can submit a final entry to contend for the prize.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 23:59 on 21 June 2015.

For full terms and conditions please see

http://goo.gl/qYkYg8
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Medicine Unboxed: Students 2015 - Call for Participation

Now in its third year, the Medicine Unboxed: Students event brings students of the arts, health and medicine together to share, explore and converse, drawing on the unique perspective and experience of being a student or in the early stages of a profession.

Medicine Unboxed: Students 2015 takes place on the afternoon of Friday 20th November and we are seeking proposals for participation in this event and to be interns for Medicine Unboxed 2015 - Mortality.

Medicine Unboxed thrives on diversity and inclusivity. We are particularly keen to welcome students (undergraduate or postgraduate) from all backgrounds, including (but not limited to) art, drama, music, medicine, literary studies, philosophy and allied health subjects. You can submit a proposal in one of four broad categories:

1. Provocations and Debates – proposals are likely to focus on a contested aspect of health, illness and its treatment and/or to explicitly engage with multiple points of view;

2. Exhibitions and Performance – submissions in this category are likely to be creative e.g. poetry readings, monologues, excerpts from plays, creative writing, musical performances, stand-up comedy, art exhibits, short films etc.

3. Workshops and Interaction – proposals may include experiential activities such as drawing, creative writing, singing and voice activities, improvisation etc or an interactive approach to a question or concept.

4. Conversations – submissions in this category are likely to take the form of short papers or prompt material presented to, and discussed with, the audience.

Proposals may be from individuals or groups. They should be no longer than 500 words and include the i) title, ii) format, iii) names and affiliations of the people involved and iv) a summary of the contribution proposed. You should also indicate in which category you would like your proposal to be considered.

Please email your proposal by 6 JULY 2015 to Dr. Sam Guglani (sam@medicineunboxed.org).

All proposals will be reviewed by the advisory group for Medicine Unboxed: Students and decisions will be communicated by 20 July 2015.

8 winning entries will be selected to present at Medicine Unboxed: Students (20 November 2015) and to act as interns for Mortality (21-22 November 2015) with travel and accommodation for the weekend included as part of the award.

Follow:@medicineunboxed and @MUstudents
http://mustudents.wordpress.com
http://medicineunboxed.org
Ideas and discussion about medicine, life, art and humanities. www.medicineunboxed.com
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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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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.

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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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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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Have them in circles
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This year's Medicine Unboxed poster image is again by the hugely talented artist Dr. Emma Collins.

Medicine Unboxed 2015 explores Mortality.

We will look at life and death and the lines that separate them. We will marvel at how molecules are arranged into life and examine other beginnings and endings, of the universe and how all nature folds and unfolds in time. We will wonder about time. We will hear the sounds of loss and grief and recovery and how death is felt in war, in hospital, in our homes and fields. We will see medicine’s hand raised against death and suffering and explore its duties to the living and dying. We will ask what a life costs and what it is worth. We will look at social and cultural differences in the experience of death, how immortality is conceived in mythology and sought in technology, our pursuit of the afterlife, and how fact and imagination meet in our encounter with death.

Follow medicineunboxed on Twitter, Vimeo, Soundcloud, G+, iTunes and Pinterest for more details of the programme and to see our previous events.
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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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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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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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