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    The Memory Booklets are wholly subjective, following the publication The Curious Paradox which contains nothing about me and my experience with s… Read More
    The Memory Booklets are wholly subjective, following the publication The Curious Paradox which contains nothing about me and my experience with stammering. The project turned into a kind of release where design became a means of therapy and expression and as a way to explore narrative. The booklets are designed to be intimate and exploratory, utilising expressive typography in an effort to represent my personal engagement with stammering. Reading the back of each booklet will provide further insight into its initial abstract interior. The main purpose of the booklets is to shine a light on the inner workings of a stammerer’s mind — the frantic last-minute word changes as well as the inner monologue that is determined to get the words out, and the situations it will avoid in order to feel safe. Read Less
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Memory Booklets
stammer anecdotes

The Memory Booklets are wholly subjective, following the publication The Curious Paradox which contains nothing about me and my experience with stammering. The project turned into a kind of release where design became a means of therapy and expression and as a way to explore narrative.

The booklets are designed to be intimate and exploratory, utilising expressive typography in an effort to represent
my personal engagement with stammering. Reading the back of each booklet will provide further insight into its initial abstract interior.
The main purpose of the booklets is to shine a light on the inner workings of a stammerer’s mind — the frantic last-minute word changes as well as the inner monologue that is determined to get the words out, and the situations it will avoid in order to feel safe.
1 — 'What is your name?'

'There at times even now when I struggle saying my own name. During instances of anticipation, I often block attempting to say the harsh, hard C, a plosive vocal sound. While it occurs in person, most of the time it is worse when speaking on the phone as the lack of body language makes it difficult for the other person to know that I am stammering.

In that moment of panic, I consider giving a fake name — which is the usual Starbucks solution — yet that is not possible all the time. Being choked up in that moment seems to last forever, suspended amongst my attempts at spitting those harsh C sounds out. The ensuing panic is made only worse by the other person questioning if I am still there, or if I am messing with them. This particular memory is based upon a time when a bank phone clerk did not believe I was the holder of my own account, and rejected my request for security reasons as I had stammered so badly.'

2 — 'Would you mind reading this out loud?'

'At around the age of nine or ten, I convinced myself that I couldn’t say words beginning with vowels — words mostly starting with A and I. The way vowels are produced demand an open vocal tract which I would frequently block on, leading to no sound being made.

Even reading one of Aesop’s famous fables, (such as this one, The Ant and The Chrysalis) was at times a struggle. I would often skip words, moving on from them if I got stuck. This, of course, led to the dissolution of the narrative in a way that made the story incomprehensible. As such my stammer led to the breakdown of communication and story-telling, so much so that the original intention of the text was destroyed — only to leave the missing words on the lips of those guessing and listening to my fragmented reading.'
3 — 'How can I help you?'

'Like many people, ordering food quickly becomes a game of choice. However, as a stammerer, sometimes this game involves not being stuck on what food to pick, but on what food you can say. Then begins the conflict of wanting to get what you want and stammer, or not stammering but not getting what you want. The pathways and options are only available when you can say them.
Jumping ahead and guessing what will be asked, or indeed pre-empting something that may never be asked is something common for a stammerer. In this way, a simple task such as ordering food is can be over-complicated.'