November 23rd, 2008
Andrew Hida is working on a piece about traumatic brain injury. Partially funded by a Seattle arts grant, he’s made significant progress over the last year. I’m not sure he imagined how invested he would become in this project, but I’ve watched his commitment deepen. I think it’s because he’s met some of the vets, heard their stories, and decided he must learn the skills to tell their stories; the vets can’t for they are too busy simply healing.
This past August I returned home to Hawaii for a brief visit to my family,
but also to visit an Iraq veteran by the name of Readen Clavier. I spent
5-days with him to document his transition back from Iraq, as he recounted
the many events that have unfolded since his injury 3 years ago. His life
has been tragically altered after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI)
in what was determined a vehicle rollover by official accounts (the direct
result of an improvised explosive device). Daily life has transformed into
a daily struggle, as he learns to adapt to the physical and cognitive
deficits that now define his life living with TBI.
Readen’s story is one of a number of ongoing stories I have been
documenting of traumatically brain-injured soldiers. As part of the “Slow
Healing” project, this multi-chaptered, multimedia documentary traces the
return of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans through intimate, and emotional
self-narratives. These quiet stories of survival testify to the tragedies
of this prolific injury that has the ability to erode the very characters
that define a person, propelling them into an unknown world deprived of
their previous life.
www.slowhealing.org will be launched in a few months where all the stories
will be found in a comprehensive website including clinical testimonies, and
TBI resources. Please click on the following link to watch Slow Healing:
Readen, Part 1:
High res (53MB):
Low res (20MB):
Next week, Monday, November 24, I will be releasing Part 2 of his story, so
I apologize in advance for another email. For further information on the
project, to view other media, and for ongoing work, please visit my website
Thank you for watching these videos, and thank you for your ongoing support
for the Slow Healing project. Any referrals to your friends, family, and
associates is greatly appreciated. The larger the audience we can build,
the greater support network we can create to help these soldiers return
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