Critical voices


I attended the Critical Voices event in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday – an early start, a cold day, too many crisps and a packed programme of talks and presentations.  My head is still sort-of spinning – every single speaker offered an idea that shifted my perspective on what it means to be human.  The day included drama and lots of visual art, especially photography and the graphic novel but what underpinned all of it, is the notion of story.  A shifting, provisional story.  And underpinning every story is an image.

I can’t recommend the event highly enough – do keep a look-out on the Critical Voices 2016 website for details of next June’s event.

The event is devised and curated by Graham Shaw who writes on the website …

‘The 17th and 18th century saw people visit Tunbridge Wells to improve their health by taking the waters of our spa. In the 21st century our health and wellbeing will come from medical advances, how we organise care and how we take personal control and responsibility.

The space of medicine, health and wellbeing is one we all inhabit. It is at once complex, often highly technical and grounded in power, politics and debate. It is a space where we have made life changing advances. Yet it is also where we are at our most vulnerable, where our most intimate times of birth, illness, treatment, life and death are played out. Critical in every sense.

Critical Voices provides an opportunity for conversations that explore the voices in this space as we strive to bring together doctors, surgeons, psychologists, patients, carers, campaigners, researchers and academics – intertwined with the expressive insights from film, music, poetry and literature.’

Intertwining!  Here’s the image for today, taken on my recent residency in the woods.  A yew tree growing around a beech tree.  A poem is coming on.