On August 16, 2018, I got to curate and host a lovely community gathering in the form of an arts showcase on the subject of mental health. This event brought together artists of many disciplines: visual artists, photographers, mixed media artists, spoken word poets, filmmakers and musicians.
ECHOES was not just an exploration of mental health through art, but it was a space to hold each other’s stories without judgement or assumptions. Emotions deserve our love and gentleness, and we have learned that struggles of the mind and body are often at the intersection of individual and environmental factors, intergenerational trauma, and structural oppression. This night was a break from the past, present, and future, to collectively create a moment where we can give attention and care to the aches, pains and joys that accompany the human experience.
The artwork and performances of every artist left me feeling heavy and light at the same time. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to offer the space to so many voices, and I was so moved and impacted by each and every one.
I believe that our mental well-being (and its connection to our physical, emotional, social and spiritual selves) is the project of the community. As we make more space for each other’s stories, traumas, and beauty, we are transforming our present and our futures into ones of healing and power.
A very huge thank you to everyone involved in planning this event, all the artists who submitted and performed, and all the people who attended and helped me make space for these stories of emotions. Thank you so much.