Meet 6 artists and writers changing the way we talk about chronic illness and disability

(Isstories Editorial):- Dublin, Nov 15, 2018 ( – Uncomfortable Revolution, an online lifestyle magazine for people living with chronic illness or disability, is thrilled to welcome its inaugural class of Fellows who are about to revolutionize the way we talk about health in the media.

Humans are getting sicker. Sure, were staying alive longer. But, more of us are living with a chronic condition than 30 years ago. Even more sobering: one in three adults globally live with multiple chronic conditions.

The U Revolution Media Fellowships are meant to spark dynamic conversations on health, and the ways in which our societies need to be more inclusive and adaptive to those living with chronic mental or physical conditions.

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For people living with a chronic condition – whether mental or physical – a sense of community and visibility is important for many reasons, said Corinne Gray, Co-founder, and CEO of Uncomfortable Revolution. There is a lot of silent suffering that happens, and having a space for shared stories is a big part of drawing attention to the experiences of the chronically ill and disabled communities. We hope, too, that a heightened debate could lead to better policies around health.

The Fellowships award 2,000 to up-and-coming journalists to develop a creative work on the theme of chronic illness or disability over a 6-month period.

We were surprised by the quantity and quality of the applications. Many applicants were award-winning artists in their own right, so it was a tough choice, said Brendan McDonald, Co-founder, and COO. Wed intended to award 4 fellowships, but the proposals were so good we decided to fund two more.

After a competitive application process that narrowed hundreds of applicants to 15 shortlisted candidates, six artists and writers from around the globe snagged the health journalism fellowships in four categories: Writing, Visual Art/Photography, Podcast, and Video. 

The awardees of the 2018 U Revolution Media Fellowships are:

Gabriela Brenes – Writing

Gabriela is a Costa Rican multimedia journalist obsessed with social inclusion, music, and digital storytelling. Shes a Chicas Poderosas ambassador, a 2018 Community Solutions fellow and a member of the 2018-2019 Solutions Journalism Mentorship cohort.

A restless explorer, this award-winning pianist turned to journalism and digital narratives to push the boundaries of immersive stories and education in Latin America. Truly passionate about transdisciplinary work and human-centered design, shes constantly experimenting with digital platforms to tell stories in a more compelling way.

In a Venn diagram with digital strategy, social research, and multimedia literacy, shed be right where the circles overlap.

I want to start a conversation, a healthy conversation about depression, anxiety, and vulnerability. This fellowship gives me the chance to explore mental health with the respect and care it deserves, and also invite an expansion of understanding through the stories I will produce.

Tahmina Saleem – Visual Arts

Born in 1994 in Kabul, Tahmina Saleem has a BA in Graphics and an MA in Visual Arts from Kabul University (KU). Currently, she is working as a Lecturer and an Assistant Professor in Faculty of Fine Arts in KU as well as a Freelance Documentary Photographer with a particular focus on Afghan women. She is an alumna of Sahar Speaks program and an active member of Afghanistan Photographers Association (APA), Advocacy for Youth Network (AYN), and My Voice my Right campaign.

Ms. Saleem studied Photography and Contemporary Arts academically and has actively participated in several exhibitions, such as Violence Elimination against Women and Women Empowerment in Afghanistan. Her photo stories have been exhibited in Iran, Canada, Italy, China, and the United States.

In 2015, her photo won a special prize in a contest which was held by Paiwandgah in Afghan Impassion Organization. So far, her works are published in websites like The Huffington018 post, News Deeply, Photo Journal, Yoga Journal, and the Guardian. She has served as a panel of jury members for the UNDP photo contest on the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also a member of the Afghan national chess team.

Nicole Edwards – Podcast

Nicole Edwards is a journalist based in Toronto, Canada. After years of covering travel, lifestyle, and fashion, Nicole enrolled in Ryerson University’s acclaimed master of journalism program to study audio storytelling. Since then, radio and podcast production, along with multimedia storytelling, has been Nicole’s primary focus. She has contributed to Home Cooked podcast, TV Ontario, NOW magazine, The Deal Room, Private Islands magazine, and more. 

In rare moments where Nicole isn’t holding a mic, she’s doing work in the HIV/AIDS community. In 2018, Nicole was on the steering committee of the Friends for Life Bike Rally, which raised $1,760,000 that year for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. She was also part of a pilot program designed by the AIDS Committee of Toronto, where she provided peer support for women living with HIV/AIDS. 

Nicole is an avid cyclist, loves rap and soul music, and especially adores solo travel to new cities.  

The U Revolution fellowship is a rare chance to do honest and diverse stories about sex and health.

Kelly Paoli – Video

Kelly Paoli is a Toronto based award-winning director whose focus is telling stories through diverse gazes. With an affinity for poignant visual comedy and female-driven narratives, Kellys work plays with nostalgia, voyeurism and the private/public projections we put out into the world, capturing the subtle human intimacies that make stories compelling. Kellys work has been featured on CanalPlay, Bell FibeTv1, and Smokebomb Entertainments KindaTv. She is also the host of YouTube channel Top 10 Nerd.

This fellowship is an opportunity for me to dive deep into what it really feels like to struggle with mental health; a stark and sensory approach to telling the sometimes raw, sometimes difficult and sometimes awkward stories that we all experience but often feel too embarrassed to share.

Madison Salters

Madison Salters is an award-winning writer, essayist, and documentarian. Her work appears internationally in literary magazines including Armstrong Literary Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine, and major media outlets including The Huffington Post, United Nations Press, TripAdvisor World Guides, UNTITLED Magazine, Wanderlust Magazine, and more. She is Lead Editor at The Toolbox, Creative Nonfiction Editor at Ruminate Literary Magazine, and Fiction Editor at Ragazine.CC. Named a “Top Under 30 Wunderkind” for writing and activism by Westchester Magazine, Madison serves as a JOLT speaker on content and storytelling and a UNESCO Ambassador of Cross-Cultural Dialogue.

As a public speaker, she has tackled issues in gender and civil equality at high-level worldwide events, from the Gender Paramilitary Conference to the EU-Africa Women’s Summit. She studied creative nonfiction Cambridge and has participated in writers groups and workshops worldwide. She received her Masters at SOAS of London, where she was also named Entrepreneur of the Year for green technological innovation, as well as being awarded UCL’s Provost’s Prize and a Santander Bank Entrepreneurial Nomination. She recently helped translate the documentary “Queer Japan and her first play, “An Infinite Resignedness”, was produced in Paris in 2018. She has volunteered as hospitals, with UNHCR, and for Doctor’s Without Borders– and thinks there cannot be medicine without empathy.

“For me, this fellowship means getting into some sticky business– and that’s a good thing! I want to untangle some myths, shed light on under-acknowledged groups in medicine, and pay homage to the fact that illness isn’t pretty, but it is universal. It teaches us empaty, bravery, and a whole litany of conversational topics we don’t bring up at coffee. But should!”

Theo Scott – Visual Arts

Theo Scott is an illustrator, filmmaker, and artist from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He has a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from the National Glass Centre at The University of Sunderland (2012-2013), and a BA Fine Art Printmaking from Northumbria University (2013-2016). In 2018 he was shortlisted for the Alexander McQueen Scholarship and the Gillian Dickinson North East young sculptor of the year award.

Theo believes satire is a catalyst for change. His work has focused on modern apathy and indifference, and how they have been bred into contemporary culture through over commodification and stimuli. He is interested in the benign and kitsch, how the refinement of these garish themes usually lead to simple human truths.

This fellowship continues a discourse focused on addressing mental health problems but in a much more honest way. I am proud to be a part of this dialogue.


About Uncomfortable Revolution

Uncomfortable Revolution is an online lifestyle magazine and shop for people living with chronic illness or disability. Were a social enterprise thats on a mission to shake up the way we talk about health.

For more information, contact Corinne Gray at


Tahmina Saleem
Kelly Paoli
Gabriela Brenes
Madison Salters
Media Contact
Uncomfortable Revolution Limited
Uncomfortable Revolution Limited
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This Press Release was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.