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UCL Grant Challenges Small Grant 2016-17 | Social Invisibility of Mental Health Facilities
UCL Grand Challenges Small Grant 2016-17 for the proposal ‘The social invisibility of mental health facilities: Raising awareness on social exclusion in urban environments through artwork’ The social invisibility of mental health facilities’ is a multi-disciplinary project, involving the Bartlett, the Division of Psychiatry and the Slade School. It comprises an art exhibition comparing healthcare vs mental health facilities of the same area, raising awareness of the inequality and social exclusion through a visual, multimedia perspective. This comparison of the mental health facilities of an inner-city part, literally surrounds Jeremy Bentham’s auto-icon in a panoptic way, to the rest of the healthcare provision both in terms of access, condition and status compared to their surroundings. The exhibits will be created from both art and architectural schools postgraduate students. The exhibition will take place inside UCL, close to Bentham’s auto-icon, demonstrating inverse links between his Panopticon, and the concealment/invisibility that NIMBYism produces towards the mentally ill that resulted in their exclusion, within deprived, under-funded, isolated facilities “in the community”. So far, the research on social exclusion and institutionalisation at the Division of Psychiatry and the Bartlett has not been combined neither through a joined research proposal nor as a message to society. The exhibition with the satellite actions, i.e., the mapping of facilities, the book and the paper, as well as actions that might follow as a result such as a more extensive research project and a white paper with a potential future collaboration with UCL policy, could set the outline of a path for integrated research in the near future but it is through the co-operation with the Slade School of art, a school that has an excellent trail of work on healthcare and institutions, that it could strengthen the communication of the message to society. Moreover, art might provide new insights and visual interpretation to the subject of stigma, fueling with questions the existing research streams of the architect and the psychiatrist.
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