This project incites and visualises the memories of patients who have suffered severe asthma, and the major benefits of new therapies in their treatment. In a process of capturing and returning their stories, students in History and Illustration used oral history and visualisation techniques to trial an innovative history-health-illustration method that incited patient storytelling and built graphic comic stories and images. This project showcases the benefits of arts-science collaboration for patients and is funded by the Arts and Health Collaboration Fund.
Funding Organisation: Arts and Health Collaboration Fund, University of Plymouth
Date: February–July 2022
Two people with severe asthma who had a good response to biologic treatment accepted invitations to tell their story to an oral history student and an illustration student. Within the framework of experiences of their asthma before and after treatment, semi-structured oral history interviews explored individual memory. There was an emphasis on how change over time might be narrated in various registers: verbal recollection intersecting with visual imagination; articulation of emotions and especially key moments of crisis, overcoming adversity, and aspiration; impact on interpersonal relationships; personal sense of self-worth and value; and the identification of core narrative themes and images. The patients then collaborated with the students to produce visual and written stories as comics.
The Visual Narratives: The illustration students interpreted the stories in their own unique styles
These stories are available as print ready PDFs and are available to download below. 50 copies of each have been printed.
Follow the illustrators on Instagram
Research Fellow in Respiratory Health, Project Lead from Faculty of Health
Dr Darren Aoki
Associate Professor of World History and Oral History, Project Lead from Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business
Lecturer in Illustration, Project Lead from Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business
Lecturer in Global Health
Dr Rupert Jones
Honorary Associate Professor