“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. [Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.] In the face of pain there are no heroes.”
George Orwell described the experience of pain flawlessly in his masterpiece 1984, where physical pain is used to break the human spirit.
But what can be done when the pain doesn’t stop?
Over 14 million people in the UK live in chronic pain. The term refers to physical pain experienced for longer than three months, the causes are often unknown, and vary greatly from person to person. Some conditions are recognised by medical terminology, such as fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia, while others have no official diagnosis, and are referred to using terms such as “back pain” or “neck pain”.
Chronic pain at its severest can be an unforgiving tormentor. Created in the brain but felt in the body, long-term pain may be invisible, but its reign over its subject is relentless. Trapped, scared, lonely, angry, depressed… these are just some of the feelings that those affected by chronic pain can experience.
Something Chronic is an arts-based organisation created to broaden society’s understanding of long-term pain, and to provide an inclusive platform for sufferers to find shared experiences and empathy. Our aim is to raise awareness of the challenges of chronic pain through original and thought-provoking works by contemporary artists, showcased on our dedicated website and through exhibitions.
Ranging from illustration and poetry to film, music and photography, all our artwork responds to a particular theme, such as ‘invisibility’, ‘trapped’, and ‘stolen time’. Through the website, we aim to provide a community for those affected by chronic pain and encourage involvement with our artistic projects. We will also hold workshops, exhibitions and other events aimed at helping individuals reclaim their voice and bodies.
We believe that art unites people and has the power to bring about social change. Through our projects we hope to offer those affected by chronic pain opportunities for creative self-expression, and offer a platform to engage with, support and find answers for people struggling with debilitating conditions.