Built for Hurt


Collision_of_Costa_Concordia_DSC4191 Photo courtesy of Roberto Vongher and Wikimedia Commons

I’m delighted to have my essay “Built for Hurt” published in the inaugural issue of qualia, an “experimental journal dedicated to creative and critical thinking at the intersection of the arts, humanities, and medical sciences. With a focus on lived experiences, embodied encounters, phenomenological investigations and unusual perspectives, qualia publishes personal, theoretical, scientific, sonic, and visual responses to particular themes: this inaugaral issue of qualia explores the theme of pain.”

Qualia is edited by Dr. Elinor Cleghorn, who has conducted research on the scholarly and artistic implications of mirror-touch synaesthesia at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art. I was fortunate to participate in some of Dr. Cleghorn’s inquiry into experiences of mirror-sensory synaesthesias, and I’m honored that she encouraged me to pen an essay about my encounters with synesthetic pain for the first issue of qualia.

I am indeed built for a certain type of hurt. My synaesthesia-for-pain is triggered every single day on multiple occasions, often by the most mundane objects. But sometimes my mirror-touch synaesthesia and synesthesia-for-pain go into overdrive; one such example of this sensory overload was witnessing (via electronic media) the wreck of the Costa Concordia. My essay Built for Hurt explores this tragedy from a synesthetic perspective. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my essay with you via qualia journal.