By Gio Garancini- BA Creative Events Management
My Final Major Project, took the shape of an immersive event called ‘In My Mind’. It took place on the Boscombe High-street as part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe Festival’s ‘High street of Art’. Our venue was one of the containers that BEAF placed on the high-street and remained there for the entirety of the festival, from the 28th of April till the 7th of May.
We decided to tackle a subject of mental health. For it is rarely spoken about and felt that the current way in which mental illness is discussed, with facts and figures, has created a sense of misunderstanding, making it difficult for people who are really suffering to openly talk about how they are feeling without fear of judgement. We asked a group of people suffering with mental illnesses, “if you could explain your mental illness, what would you say”. From these responses and working with a team of artists we created In My Mind, an immersive pop-up experience that aimed to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues, through creating empathetic awareness of the subject matter. Empathic awareness was achieved through created an environment where people walked into the container and experienced some of the daily sensations and emotions individuals with mental illness may go through daily.
The most rewarding aspect of this experience, was talking to individuals who went through the experience. Many people that went through the container suffered from mental health themselves and remarked at how relatable all of it was and were very pleased that more creative events are taking place to support this cause. Interestingly those who went through who did not suffer from mental health issues found similar aspects relatable, and found it very interesting and embraced the aim of the event. This similarity between the two groups of people illustrated the importance of empathy, for mental health is something that can affect anyone and everyone on different levels.