It has been widely acknowledged for many years that the arts can play an integral role in aiding brain injury recovery and in managing neurological conditions.

Now brain injury survivor Byron Konizi is aiming to enhance their impact through a new concept called the ‘Moodmemo’, which is being pioneered by the London charity he founded, UDAV.

Byron explains: “The ‘Moodmemo’ is essentially a memory of a mood that somebody has captured and recorded or materialised in an art form of some kind – be it music, film, poetry or art.”

Social distancing-permitting, Moodmemos will be utilised at UDAV’s centre in Hackney to support its members, including those with brain injuries and conditions, in overcoming day-to-day challenges.

Byron says: “The function of the Moodmemo is to be shared with others who may be struggling with their own feelings in an attempt to help them to escape an undesired mood for a period of time.

“This benefits the recipient by removing them from an unwanted emotional state, enabling them to build strength and to push through their negative experience if and when it may return.”

Moodmemo’s are created by documenting a desired mood in a chosen medium that enables it to be shared; and they are not all positive as Byron explains: “Sad or depressing memos are also created as there are a number of arguments that these can improve mood by removing feelings of isolation and alienation, confirming that others have experienced a similar emotional state.

“Moodmemo’s were derived as a result of the widely acknowledged and medically documented observation that many people battling with a wide range of long term health conditions also struggle with their mood, often as a direct result, and therefore such a concept would be welcomed by many suffering with long term health conditions such as brain injury.”

Byron adds that people who suffer with mood issues alone without additional health conditions can also benefit from Moodmemos.

“Whether the moment of escape is a short period of time or a more permanent state, the intention is to create a period of time where the recipient has a chance to experience a period of recovery in order to increase the likelihood of a long term victory in their struggle.”

Byron acquired a brain injury in a childhood bike accident, then suffered further neurological challenges via an anomaly on his brain stem and then a second brain injury sustained as an adult from a “whack on the back of the head” in London.

But after accessing neuro-rehab services in Cambridge which helped him to understand his brain injury, he became a talented graphic designer with career highlights including helping to design the London 2012 Olympic mascot and a London tube map for people with health conditions.

This passion for creativity and his understanding of the barriers faced by people with brain injury and other healthcare challenges was the driving force behind UDAV “a community centre that gives people a sense of belonging, supporting and protecting them”.

Through creative activities, bringing together a cast of arts and culture groups and practitioners, it has an overriding aim is to help people with neurological impairments “to evolve” rather than stagnate in life.

UDAV welcomes all those suffering from neurological injuries and conditions to create and share their own ‘Moodmemo’s. For more information visit https://udav.world/about-udav.