Next in our Students Reflect on MedHums series, in which we showcase creative portfolios assembled by students on the MSc in Medical Humanities, is Amina Kreusch, whose journal contains a range of fascinating visual and textual material.
Amina explains in her introduction how the journal became a space for reflection, exploration, discovery and experimentation. It covers historical, cultural and sociological topics – some of a very personal nature. According to Amina, the illness and passing of her grandfather on the one hand and the experience of spending a year in Manchester as an international student on the other made her aware of the fleeting nature of time, and the cycle of life and death more generally – themes that pervade the journal both explicitly and on a more subtle level.
Amina describes the process of creating a journal in the following terms:
Coming from a science-focused degree, assembling a creative portfolio seemed a daunting task at first. But in the course of the first semester looking for scraps of interesting stories and everyday encounters that related to reflecting on medicine and, more broadly, on health and disease, life and death, became a habit I would not want to miss anymore.
My favourite part was putting different sources of material and text types to work. I collected photographs, digital media, and drawings of my own while also experimenting with poems, short prose, and documenting oral history.
The journal contains exhibition and film reviews, poems, reflections on public perceptions of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, photographs, drawings, and more:
Amina reflects on the ways in which putting together a creative portfolio shaped her understanding of the Medical Humanities:
The journal played a significant part in how the MSc helped open up my perception of how thoroughly the medical humanities pervade our work as healthcare professionals as well as personal lives, all the while moving away from a purely medical gaze.
All artwork and images © Amina Kreusch.