Hidden Agenda is a large-scale multi-faceted art project about living with an ostomy. It openly addresses quality-of-life issues ranging from identity and privacy to the gritty specifics of management and self-care. This work is intense and poignant, yet tastefully, thoughtfully, and beautifully done. It conveys vast amounts of information, and provides a long-overdue vehicle for discussions about this crude and outdated medical procedure still used as state-of-art treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal diseases.
People have thanked me for facilitating this dialogue. Friends say they have not wanted to seem unconcerned, but they simply didn't know what to say. Nurses say they have cared for patients with ostomies but had not stopped to think about what it would be like to actually have one. Physicians say they want their peers to see this. And people with ostomies say it is about time. My hope is that increased awareness will lead to new solutions for people with gastrointestinal diseases.
Carol Chase Bjerke
Book now available:
Hidden Agenda, by Carol Chase Bjerke
Published by Borderland Books, 2008
Hardcover. 96 pages, with 65 full-color illustrations
A Hidden Agenda DVD is also available on request.
For more information about the artwork, or to schedule an exhibition or related event:
See this and other Arts in Healthcare artwork at http://www.thecreativecenter.org/tcc/art/our_artists/bjerke_carol_chase/
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