The small Spanish city utilizing artwork to deal with psychological well being stigmas


However apart from its views, the city is legendary for 2 issues: its wealthy creative heritage and the big psychological well being hospital on the coronary heart of the city.

The hospital was based in 1855, and its lengthy historical past continues to form how folks view the realm.

“Once you’re exterior of Sant Boi, for instance Barcelona, and the folks ask, ‘the place are you from?’ and also you say ‘from Sant Boi,’ they are saying, ‘Oh, the city of the loonies.’ That is what we need to change,” native artist Dani Sánchez instructed CNN.

Nien Boots, who works in Sant Boi, described native interactions between residents and sufferers that give rise to each “humorous conditions or uncomfortable ones.”

He provides the instance of certainly one of affected person who repeatedly tries to seduce ladies, resulting in some discomfort.

“Different residents are in want of social interplay. They may sit down with you on the terrace or attempt to discuss with you on the road,” he mentioned. “Everyone will get a bit lonely typically.”

Taboos round psychological well being persist, however for some folks in Sant Boi, like Sánchez, the presence of the hospital is just part of every day life.

“It is actually widespread to see an individual with psychological well being points wandering across the neighborhood,” he mentioned. It is also a deeply private situation to him; two of Sánchez’s members of the family have hung out in Sant Boi’s well being care middle.

In an effort to convey the city collectively, 40 younger artists from throughout Europe joined forces firstly of July to create a mural to problem native attitudes round psychological well being. The mission, led by Boots, introduced collectively quite a lot of native organizations, together with Torrent d’ART, a gaggle that makes use of artwork and tradition as a software to struggle prejudice.

Local artist and project coordinator Dani Sánchez works on the carpet mural featuring a phoenix motif.

Connections by means of artwork

Artwork in Sant Boi is intimately linked to the presence of the psychological well being establishment.

In line with native legend, famend architect Antoni Gaudí labored on the items of contemporary artwork on show within the backyard of Sant Joan De Déu Healthcare Park, which encompasses the psychological well being hospital.

Earlier than the installations had been added, between 1903 and 1912, the hospital held bricklaying workshops, and sufferers participated within the extension and upkeep work that was carried out quickly after, mentioned José Luis Argudo Lara, director of help packages on the well being care middle.

However in recent times, a wall separating the hospital from the remainder of the neighborhood started to degrade and was coated with unattractive graffiti.

The hospital walls, pictured before the mural was painted.

The wall was “in terrible situation,” Sant Boi resident Alejandro Gil mentioned. “I felt actually unhealthy once I noticed the wall so filled with filth.”

The brand new mural aimed to revamp the wall while difficult taboos round psychological well being. Boots invited 10 younger folks from Norway, the UK and Sweden to work with 10 younger locals from Sant Boi they usually had been requested to consider the worst picture they may select to color on the hospital wall — to provoke and open up a frank dialogue on psychological well being taboos.

After a tense collection of conversations, the members settled upon the theme of carpets. Sánchez instructed CNN, “All of us agreed on a last thought primarily based on the rugs theme, the place part of the rug leans out on one aspect of the wall, whereas the opposite half comes out onto the opposite aspect. So this concept poses a query, a kind of enigma, and invitations the neighbours to stroll into the hospital.”

Participants settled upon the theme of carpets for the wall.

Residents of the well being care middle additionally performed massive roles in each the design and building of the mural. “It was actually beautiful to see how all people blended in,” mentioned Boots.

Native resident Gil defined that the brand new mural makes him really feel glad, “Now, once I come and see the wall correctly painted, it is like strolling down the Passeig de Gràcia,” he mentioned — certainly one of Barcelona’s most elegant avenues.

The hope the mural invites neighbours to walk into the hospital.

Welcoming folks in

In 2010, the hospital joined forces with a neighborhood normal hospital, and officers determined to incorporate the care of the aged in addition to folks within the prison justice system and people coping with grief.

Throughout this restructuring, the hospital opened the parks of the well being care middle to the general public as the brand new mural is hoped to encourage folks to “enter and take a look.”

Native artist, Juan Gurira believes the collaborative course of helped set up a greater relationship between individuals who dwell within the hospital and individuals who dwell in the remainder of Sant Boi.”Inside, is what folks actually ought to see. Right here on the street you solely see the wall, behind it’s the actuality,” he mentioned.

However the invitation goes each methods, with residents of the middle additionally invited to enter the city.

When folks “exit for a stroll, they’re going to keep in mind at the present time,” mentioned Sanchez. “It should affect their lives.”

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