To Live, to Love and to Leave a Legacy: A photographic exhibition sharing the wisdom of the dying


Shyla Mills, RN, BN, MPallC
Director, Glass Half Full Projects and Palliative Care
Interdisciplinary Education Coordinator
South East Palliative Care, Kallista, Australia


The objective of this arts-based public health palliative care project is to normalize dying to communities around the world through the sharing of images and short narratives of palliative patients, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals from several countries.

The method used is to travel to numerous countries (both developed and developing), visit local palliative care teams, and speak with and photograph patients, their caregivers, and the staff about their experiences in living with or caring for someone with a palliative illness.

The result is a photographic exhibition with images of palliative patients, caregivers, nurses, doctors, and related health staff from hospices and palliative care facilities in India, Thailand, France, the UK, and Australia. The exhibition is aimed to appeal to the general public and healthcare professionals to promote conversations about palliative care and dying.

From March 2010-March 2011, funds from the Catherine Pouget award enabled the winner to take her existing exhibition (which included images from Australia, India, Thailand, France, and the UK) to several international palliative care conferences in both developed and developing countries and to expand the exhibition by collecting many more images and narratives. As of 2012, the exhibition includes over 80 pieces from ten countries, has been translated into three languages—French, Spanish, and Hindi—and receives frequent requests to be exhibited at international conferences and other public venues.