On 11 March, EP members Suzanne Reynolds and Susana de Dios to a trip with Julian Hughes to a Nottingham Blood Centre to document Julian’s blood donation. Susana de Dios took the photos in this gallery, and the group then wrote responses to the images based on parallels found in John Berger’s 1967 novel A Fortunate Man. You can find a blog post about this experience written by Suzanne Reynolds here.
“I’ll have your hand” AFM: ‘We give the doctor access to our bodies. Apart from the doctor, we only grant such access voluntarily to lovers – and many are frightened to do even this. Yet the doctor is a comparative stranger… what can such intimacy mean?’
AFM: ‘It is as though when he talks or listens to a patient, he is also touching them with his hand so as to be less likely to misunderstand: and it is as though, when he is physically examining a patient, they were also conversing.’
AFM: ‘The function of fraternity is recognition. This individual and closely intimate recognition is required on both a physical and psychological level. On the former it constitutes the art of diagnosis.[…] On the psychological level recognition means support.’
“Keep your arm warm. The warmer you are, the better it will flow!” AFM: ‘The air is cold. The floorboards are cold. It is perhaps this coldness which sharpens the tang of the hot cup of tea.’
“Are you alright? Just pop your head back for me” AFM: ‘That’s where I live, where you are putting the needle in.’ ‘I know,’ Sassall said, ‘I know what it feels like.’