Mark Neville | Battle Against the Stigma

As my project is now taking shape, the portraits begin to take on a life of their own, my experience of making the podcasts working to create a symbiotic relationship with them. However only I have listened to them all. I haven’t just listened to them, I have collaborated in the making of them. In feeling that I am a little light on contextual research due to podcast production. My research brought me to Mark Neville and his project ‘Battle Against Stigma’. Neville states about the project

‘The exhibition and book intend to give some insight into the issue of adjustment disorder and PTSD which he suffered from on his return to the UK’

In 2011 Neville went to Helmand Province to work as a war artist with the British Army and was compelled to produce a book and exhibition as a result of his own experiences of PTSD and readjustment disorder experienced upon his return.

In a video interview Neville talks candidly about the experience in addition to the production of two volumes

‘The first volume is the re-telling, including his photographs, of Neville’s own personal experience when he was sent out to Helmand in 2011 as an official war artist and his troubled return, and the second volume is made-up of the written testimonies about PTSD and adjustment disorder from serving and ex-serving soldiers.’

What I find interesting is the evolving nature of the project. When attending a portfolio review a couple of months ago, I heard Steph Cosgrove comment about a peers work and how she was ‘turning up the volume’ of her work. A comment that has tuck with me and appears relevant to Neville’s work when he included the written testimony in the second volume of his book.

Mark Neville | Battle Against Stigma

A Neville provides further insight when he comments about the dissemination of his book when he states ‘Throughout 2015 Neville distributed these copies free to Defence Mental Health Services, prison libraries, homeless veterans, probation services, and veteran mental health charities.’ And in this comment I feel another critical breakthrough has occurred. My project ‘Seven Miles South’ challenges the theme of mental health and for some time I have been thinking about where to disseminate the work when finished. I have begun to research and contact mental health charities and a local gallery asking about their interest in the project and hoping for some interest. However, I now feel compelled to think differently about dissemination. My attention will now turn to the production of a newspaper which encompasses photographs in addition to transcriptions of the conversations that I’ve had. I can also include contact details of local charities that offer support in the newspaper. Once produced I will have a product that I can send to charities and story editors alike to create interest within the work.

I will discuss this strategy in my next meeting with Laura although I am quite adamant that this is the correct action to take.

Neville, M. 2020.  Mark Neville. Available [online] at (Accessed April 19th, 2021).

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