Photographs and Essays from Brain Injury Survivors
June 29 – July 30
Reception: Wednesday July 19, 3 – 5 PM
Portsmouth Public Library
Levenson Community Room
Visit the Portsmouth Public Library between June 29 and July 30 to see PhotoVoice, an exhibit by brain injury survivors from Krempels Center. On Wednesday July 19 from 3 – 5 PM, stop by for a reception and a chance to meet the artists!
For brain injury survivors, sharing their experience is one of the best ways for them to feel positive about their recovery. Educating the greater community about the impact builds a sense of purpose in their lives. Often known as the silent epidemic, brain injury effects can be invisible to many people.
Krempels Center staff collaborated with Laura Lorenz of Brandeis University and Supportive Living Inc. to create the opportunity for members to participate in Photovoice, with the belief that “nobody should be denied the right to speak out and be heard.” The use of photography to bring about social change is at the heart of each PhotoVoice project.
Members met as a group during the spring and summer to plan their photo voice exhibit. With peer and staff support, they started by creating a list of “prompting” questions. What is most challenging about brain injury? What have I lost? What is my biggest challenge? They worked together and individually to write answers to these prompts, and then planned photographs as metaphors to help give others a view into what it is like to live with a brain injury.
The results are a visual documentation of their lives, and their voices, in text, to go along with it. As you look at the photographs and read the text, you will see that a collective voice emerges from the exhibit, one that describes not only sadness and frustration, but also strength, joy, friendship and community.
• Becky Dow
• Brian Brigham
• Brie Bourn
• Joanne Scott
• Lindsey Huntoon
• Nate Gray
• Patrick Jones
• Scott Ludgin
• Steve Wiswell
• Steve Mahoney
• Ted King
• Tommy Averill
Krempels Center provides an innovative community program for brain injury survivors. Acquired brain injury impacts millions of lives each year. Survivors experience great challenges including loss of physical, cognitive, and/or emotional function. As people living with brain injury are discharged from hospitals and rehabilitation services, they often go home to a compromised life with families shattered, jobs lost, and family and friends not prepared to assist their loved ones. Krempels Center—the only program of this nature in the state, and only one of a few handfuls in the country—addresses the broad and complex issues faced by survivors.
Services focus on improving the quality of life by building a sense of well-being and belonging, as well as greater community re-integration. Krempels Center provides opportunity for cognitive development, community connection, emotional support, physical activity, and vocational and/or leisure pursuit… in summary, helping people to build new lives. A key tenant in the Krempels Center program is to provide services despite people’s financial circumstances, crucial for people who have often used up their savings in health care costs and can no longer return to work. Currently 83% are receiving scholarship to attend Krempels Center – and over 50% attend at no cost due to their extremely low income status.