VoicingHan: Between Mortal and Immortal

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Presentation Title:

  • VoicingHan: Between Mortal and Immortal

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Abstract:

  • The VoicingHan project is an avatar storytelling platform designed for patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center. A Korean concept, “Han” reflects a paradoxical state of consciousness combining an extreme state of grief with a great hope for overcoming a seemingly impossible situation. We situate Han in a special and holistic cognition found among patients in the palliative care program who confront the critical issue of mortality, and the human dilemma in connecting our physical and spiritual domains. VoicingHan supports terminally ill patients by using oral storytelling as an artistic medium, facilitating patients’ interactive performances while promoting autonomous creativity to support “patient activation” or “patient-centered care.” In addition, the Avatar video, sound data of stories, and motion capture data will remain as an important patient and family legacy. This paper will discuss the VoicingHan project as an approach to dealing with mortality and potentially mitigating existential suffering for palliative care patients in the digital age.

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