A few months ago, one of my best friends, Bonnie, called and asked us to be apart of an art project she was putting together for the Aphasia Group at Vanderbilt. I knew Bonnie’s Dad had suffered a stroke years back, but I had never heard of Aphasia. APHASIA – a*pha*sia (uh-fay-zhuh) is an impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury. Knowing how close this project was to Bonnie’s heart, we quickly said yes and I am so glad that we did.
Bonnie titled her project “The Milemarkers Project“. Her goal was to document the recovery stories of individuals with Aphasia. She asked individuals to identify an object that represented a significant achievement or turning point in their recovery process. Phil and I got to photograph these individuals with their object. Below are some of the images from our day with the patients. Our day spent with them definitely put things in perspective. You never really stop to think what life would be like if simple movements or speaking were taken away from you. If you would like to see the project in it’s entirety please visit the downtown Nashville Public Library from September – October. Also, please visit Art Makes Place for more info on other great projects in the Nashville area.
This is Domnique, who works with the Aphasia group. Her milemarker was the Proclamation from the state of Tennessee, declaring June Aphasia Awareness Month.
Milemarker: writing in a journal.
Milemarker: playing cards.
Milemarker: singing in the choir again at church. To the right is a girl who helps out with the group in their recovery. Her object was a sign that helps the patients learn to communicate again.
Thanks again, Bonnie, for letting us be a part of such a special project. We are looking forward to seeing it this fall!