Episode 3: Connecting for Change
How can we care collectively?
How can we care, collectively? Can we address unequal access to rest and care, creatively?
Join Nwando Ebizie to look at how rest has been politicised, whether the mental health system can be redeemed by art and how to navigate the noise of the city. Guests include Black Power Naps (artists Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa), researcher Professor Stephani Hatch, artists Dolly Sen and Rowdy SS.
This episode includes references to slavery and discussion of mental health issues. If you or someone you know are feeling emotionally distressed, there are organisations that offer advice and support. If you’re in the UK or Ireland you can get in touch with the Samaritans day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
Can caring collectively address existing unequal systems and services?
With Black Power Naps, created by artists Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa, we explore how they tackle unequal access to rest in Western society, where relaxation is a luxury for the privileged and consider some of the ways that the structures of Western societies deny certain people access to something as fundamental as rest. Highlighting the long history of sleep deprivation for black and racialised people and the attempts to justify this inequality with pseudoscience, as part of the ongoing project, the artists have created a Dream Bag as a guidance for better sleep. The toolkit has been specially conceived for people who experience racism regularly in our society, to support breaking with constant fatigue by slowing down and resting. Physical packs to aid relaxation and sleep will be distributed to people based locally to BALTIC, in Gateshead, of South Asian heritage, East Asian, South East Asian heritage, and people of African or Caribbean heritage alongside a digital toolkit, launching online soon.
We consider health inequalities with artist, writer, filmmaker, performer and activist Dolly Sen and Stephani Hatch, Professor of sociology and epidemiology at the Institute of Science, Kings College, London, who is currently leading a Wellcome-funded study, TIDES (Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in health services). They discuss centering the voices of people who have been unheard by the UK mental health system through research and through bringing beauty to what Dolly calls an ugly system.
Settle in for some alone time in the midst of the cacophony of communal sound with London-based international artist Rowdy SS, working with sound, movement, dance, music, installation, and live happening. In this work, Rowdy SS brings our attention to the sounds of communal spaces, which for many of us have taken on new meaning this past year.
A BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Wellcome Collection collaboration. Presented by Nwando Ebizie. Music by Nkisi. Sound by Axel Kacoutié. A Reduced Listening Production, produced by Katherine Godfrey and exec produced by Alannah Chance.
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Episode 3 Show Notes
Reimagine the soundscape of London as a possible tool for meditation and reflection, whilst watching artist Rebecca Bellantoni’s, C.R.Y - Concrete Regenerative Yearnings.
Black people have been getting less sleep than their white counterparts since slavery, join gal-dem, as they explore how this is affecting black women in the UK today.
Connect with Mad COVID, a shared space for grassroots mental health survivor / service user projects that started during the COVID19 pandemic, denouncing oppression in all its guises as an intersectional ally group.
For marginalised groups the idea of ‘getting back to normal’ post Covid-19, was a loaded and exclusive concept. So arts organisation Metal and their Associate Producer, disabled dance artist and academic Kate Marsh created In Other Words, a collection of urgent reflections exploring 49 artists hopes and fears for the future, at a time of global crisis.
Led by Professor Stephani Hatch the Wellcome Trust funded HERON Network, provides a forum for health practitioners, researchers and community members to share experiences and further understand the problems influencing health inequalities.
Sound artist and dj Ain Bailey immerses us in one word: LOVE.
Listen to World: we got this, a podcast exploring how nature and our environment is critical to our mental and physical wellbeing, and how Covid-19 has further demonstrated inequalities of access to space.
Black Power Naps, created by artists Navild and Fannie Sosa, is a sculptural installation, vibrational device and curatorial initiative that reclaims laziness and idleness as power. Black Power Naps exposes and highlights the unequal access to rest in Western society, where relaxation and rest are luxuries reserved for the privileged and rich. Recent studies have shown that the distribution of rest is determined by race, with Black, Indigenous and people who experience racism, regularly getting less sleep than white people. This is referred to as the ‘Sleep Gap’. Black Power Naps address the redistribution or rest, relaxation and down times and create interactive surfaces for a playful approach to investigate and practice deliberate energetic repair.
Stephani Hatch is a Professor of Sociology and Epidemiology leading the Health Inequalities Research Group at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London. She has over 25 years of experience delivering interdisciplinary health inequalities research with an emphasis on race at the intersection of other social identities. She has published extensively on: inequalities in mental health and health services; discrimination and other forms of social adversity; community mental health; and multimorbidity. In 2017, Professor Hatch received a Wellcome Trust Investigator’s Award to lead the Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in Health Services (TIDES) study, a mixed methods programme of work focused on service users and healthcare practitioners that expanded in 2020 with ESRC funding to utilise a participatory framework to identify processes through which racial and ethnic inequalities in mental health and occupational outcomes are produced, maintained and resisted in the context of Covid-19. Professor Hatch also currently co-leads the Marginalised Communities and Mental Health programme within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health, focused on advancing research with communities that have often been ignored, to examine and disrupt structures maintaining social inequities in mental health, with an emphasis on race within an intersectionality framework. Professor Hatch integrates collaborative approaches to knowledge production and dissemination, action and outreach in training and research through the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON),which she founded in 2010. She also leads equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and has national and international advisory roles in health and volunteer and community sectors.
Rowdy SS is a London born and based, multidisciplinary artist often working at the intersection/s of sound/music, dance/movement and live performance alongside making videos; working with instigation and/or response. International performances and works have explored love, energy, emotions, feelings, explored identity and the societal constructs surrounding, and mined life to share his vision of said life. Rowdy was previously a member of Atari Teenage Riot, a Berlin-based noise band and has worked closely with a diverse artists and makers such as legendary dub creator Lee Scratch Perry, Ron Arad, musicians Patrick Wolf, Eska, Zero 7, Matthew Herbert, acid house pioneer Adamski and has put on successful club nights ‘SOAP’ a no photos allowed subversive bass-heavy alt trap/post-grime party at Birthdays and ‘SONIC’ a club night space of interactive sound/performance art and DJin at VFD, London.
Dolly Sen is an award-winning writer, artist, performer, speaker, activist and filmmaker. She has had over 10 books published, several chapters in academic textbooks and anthologies, and blogs regularly for Disability Arts Online. To that end her creative journey has taken her up a tree in Regents Park, to California's Death Row, to the Barbican, to the Dept of Work & Pensions to section it, and up a ladder to screw a lightbulb into the sky.