Surviving is one of the eleven films that make up the body of work Conscious.
It aims to represent how one particular patient has reflected upon her experience of anaesthetic awareness three years after it occurred. In her case, the overwhelming joy of being alive overshadows the terror she endured. It asks questions about the experiences of others: How have those who have had more severe experiences coped in the years after? Is it still living with them? Does any traumatic experience continue to replay in the mind of those who are directly affected whilst it fades in those that aren’t?
The intention of this film is to ask those who have experienced an anaesthetic awareness to discuss how they cope, and to explore whether it continues to affect them in succeeding years.
Comments and testimony can be recorded at anaestheticawareness.info
Conscious is the name of the project hosted at anaestheticawareness.info.
In it I have produced a series of films that retell the experience of one person’s anaesthetic awareness. The aim of the project is that these films will act as the catalyst for discourse amongst those who have experienced anaesthetic awareness, providing a conduit for valuable connections, potentially leading to a support community for those who are experiencing difficulties directly or indirectly connected to their experience.
Running alongside the online community project is the physical presence of this work. In this strand Conscious becomes an installation where trainee medical students can directly interact with the work by being shown films in designed spaces. These depict the environments connected to the anaesthetic awareness case represented in the films, the aim of this is to provide a visual, aural and experiential educational experience for the students, with the intention of promoting a better understanding of the issues amongst healthcare practitioners and, hopefully, reducing its future incidence. Invited participants are then asked to record their experience of the material directly at anaestheticawareness.info, thereby creating a connection between the two audiences, and potentially opening up new lines of discourse that would otherwise never exist.