Exhibiton: “Art Against Mental Illness” (Embrace Fund, Lebanon)

From the website NOW:

Art against mental illness

Embrace Fund brings 19 artists together to exhibit work on a difficult topic

The numbers are heart-breaking: at least one Lebanese person in every five suffers from some form of mental health problem. But very few people, fewer than one in twenty, actively seek a way to help treat their condition.

Things may, however, be finally taking a turn in the right direction.Embrace Fund, a Lebanese non-profit organization, in partnership with the Medical Center of the American Univerisity of Beirut (AUBMC), has decided to confront issues related to mental health in Lebanon head-on, through art.

The exhibition will open its doors on October 24 in a large and newly refurbished space perched on the beautiful Zaitunay Bay water front, right in the middle of downtown Beirut. Ara Azad, the curator of the exhibition, has hand-picked each of the 19 artists whose works will be on display. He has asked each of the artists to work on a piece expressing what the state of Lebanese people’s mental health means to them, how and if it affects their daily lives and the perception they have of their role in society.

The topic of the show is not an easy one to confront. The artists NOWspoke to all confirmed the difficulty they have experienced reflecting on the topic of mental health in Lebanon. None of them was willing to say anything specific about the art they will be exhibiting before the showcase opens its doors, but what they are willing to confirm is that the Zaitunay bay exhibit is something deeply felt, much more than an ordinary show.

Fulvio Codsi, one of the artists chosen by Ara, tells NOW: “Being able to be part of an exhibition with such humane purpose means a great deal to me. I was very much inspired while working on my triptych as it was kind of like undertaking therapy.”

The aim of Embrace fund’s exhibition is to be “a catalyst” for change – every exhibited piece is a call for an open confrontation, a way to try to drag people down into themselves and attempt to explore their inner doubts, problems and fears. This is an effort that it seems the Lebanese are not too keen to undertake – thinking about the present is often preferable to envisioning the future or reflecting on the past.

To read the complete article and for additional information about the exhibition, click here.

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