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Breast cancer survivor creates immersive exhibit in bid to raise awareness

Jo Samuel, a breast cancer survivor has created an immersive exhibit named ‘Changing faces of Breast Cancer’ in bid to raise awareness.

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) was the first stop of the interactive exhibit, which was in the Daphne Oram building on the university campus from Thursday May 4 until May 10.

The exhibit is part of Jo’s PHD coursework, after having a years break from her studies due to her diagnosis of breast cancer, she was inspired to use it as her topic and to help others with the disease.

“I knew when I came back to my PHD that the subject that I was working on, it had no meaning,” she said.

“So I thought, if I did something about breast cancer and my experience, it would hopefully help other people going through their experience or help people understand if they’ve got a friend or family member who are going through that experience.”

Ms Samuel shared that the exhibition was a very scary big step for her to take: “It’s a very personal exhibition and it’s quite revealing about my thoughts, so it’s been quite scary to put it on and to invite people in to share my story

“To help me get through that whole kind of experience of having a breast cancer diagnosis and the treatment and the hair loss which goes with it, I wrote an online blog which was completely and utterly so helpful to my mental well-being.

“There were so many times I couldn’t sleep because of the amount of feelings and emotions I was feeling, so it would be like 12 or 1 o’clock in the morning just writing on my blog, getting all my thoughts and feelings out of my head onto something and then I could sleep.”

Ms Samuel kitted out Daphne Oram’s gallery space with posters and mirrors that hold a special QR code which when scanned, brings the exhibit to life.

Artefacts, videos, digital art and personal letters are just a few things that are on display within this hard hitting, educational exhibition.

The exhibit will be moving to Gallery 66 in Folkestone, where it will stay from May 27 until June 4.