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Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor's View Laura S. Lorenz, Barbara Webster and eight members of the Massachusetts Brain Injury Association’s Framingham Support Group (page 1 of 0) Page 1 of 3

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor's View

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View

What does it feel like to live with a brain injury? What are the issues and concerns of survivors? How do they cope? Where do they find comfort, support, and hope?

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View is a photographic exhibit created by eight members of the Massachusetts Brain Injury Association’s Framingham support group. Each participant in the project took photographs and wrote personal narratives that reflect their experience living with brain injury. The exhibit was on display during March 2009 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

“Taking photos and talking about them helped to peel away the layers of issues and emotions like the layers of an onion,” says Barbara Webster, facilitator of the Framingham group, who also sustained a TBI.

The project was intended to provide an opportunity for support group members to: 

  • reflect on living with brain injury, their progress in dealing with this major life change, and moving on; 
  • use their brain in new ways and employ a variety of cognitive skills;
  • raise awareness about brain injury; and
  • help health providers understand ways to support healing from brain injury.

For the exhibit, participants grouped their photographs into nine themes: the journey, lost dreams, chaos, strategies, advocacy, comfort and support, acceptance, and hope for the future. Please click on the links below to navigate through the project:

  • The Journey
  • Lost Dreams
  • Chaos
  • Strategies
  • My Advocacy Story
  • Challenges
  • Comfort
  • Acceptance
  • Hope for the Future

"The exhibit is a moving glimpse of how individuals with brain injury deal with this major change and move on with life," said Laura Lorenz, Ph.D., Brandeis University, who brought this "PhotoVoice" project to the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.

Want to do your own Photovoice project? Here is the facilitator's guide to get you started.

What is photovoice?

Photovoice is a process by which people can represent their lives, points of view, and experiences using photographs and narratives. Since 1991, people around the world have projected a vision of their lives and educated researchers, social service providers, and policymakers using photovoice. Many groups — from village women in China to young people in American cities, youth leaders in South Africa, and community health volunteers in California — have used photovoice. Photovoice is a type of participatory action research (PAR). PAR is a systematic investigation carried out in collaboration with people who are affected by a particular issue, in this instance living with brain injury. PAR involves integrating science and social practice in a dynamic group setting.

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View

Photovoice Project Co-Facilitators
Laura S. Lorenz, PhD, MEd, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
Barbara Webster, Co-Founder, ‘Amazing’ Brain Injury Survivor Support Group, Framingham, MA
Laura Foley, Participant, Pilot Study ‘Facilitators and Barriers to Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury: Through the Lens of Photovoice’
Photovoice Project Participants included Chris R., Dave G., David S, Judy S., Kathleen D., Kathy D., Peggi R., and Scott D.

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View is a traveling exhibit to increase awareness and understanding of brain injury survivors’ challenges and strengths. Learn more by phoning 508-475-0032 or emailing biama@biama.org.

© 2007 All rights reserved. Information contained on these pages may not be reproduced, copied, published, or redistributed without the written consent of Laura S. Lorenz and Barbara Webster. All requests will be subject to review and approval by the photovoice group members and facilitators. Please contact us by email through Laura at laura@lslorenz.com or Barbara at websters@twmsystems.com.