I met with Zouhare Holden (Marketing and Brand Manager) and Jenny Peninger (Marketing and Social Media) who will be working with me to see if we can use my MA project to help people within the MS community. Tom Shelston, who I met two weeks ago, set up the meeting and was on the call.
I told the story of my life over the last two years. It included what happened to my wife Karen and my own experience which led to the project for the MA. I took them through the ‘Show and Tell’ material from last week to show the current status of the project.
We discussed how my experience and the MA project could be helpful to people in the MS community. I talked about not knowing where to go in my lowest moments. The good message is I am still here and currently happy and moving on with life. This seemed unimaginable both before and after the death of Karen. Knowing how painful my own experience was could be reassuring to people in the same situation now.
Zouhare asked what was the story I wanted to tell. I said there are two answers. One is artistically to produce a work that people can project their own story on to and any story is ok. The other is wanting to share my experience with others who may be going through a similar experience now. The latter I believe can be helpful to people in the situation I was in.
They agreed the story is a powerful one, very open and genuine and could help people. One idea they proposed was to include my work in their magazine which has a circulation of 26,000 MS Society members. Zouhare will see if this can be on the editorial board meeting on Thursday this week.
We finished with one potential stumbling block raised by Tom. The MS Society has no position on right to die so any work presented must not be deemed to be presenting a position. He is going to check with the management how this story would be perceived. I said my project was neutral on the choice but my wife making her choice was part of my experience. He also needs to check if working with Dignity in Dying presents a problem as that could be seen as indirectly supporting a position.
I promised to get back to him on what form any work with Dignity in Dying would take. I also said if I had to choose then I will go with the MS Society. My preference would be to be able to go with both with each providing their own wrapper on the artistic work setting out my personal experience.
I let them know I am creating an edit for the FORMAT21 open call under the title ‘Control’ due mid September which will give another idea of how the work is shaping up. I will work with Jenny and Zouhare to provide what they need and give updates on my work.