“I don’t remember when I started growing the gardens of my mind, but I’m glad I did.” says Sarah P., one of the musicians of the IME Project. With these words, she introduces us to her photo exhibition Gardens of my Mind that puts a spotlight on mental health and takes its guests on a trip to “the gardens of a mind that – no matter how weary it may be, it’s learned to never censor itself”. And that’s its beauty. The exhibition opened on 10.10.19, during the World’s Mental Health Day, in support of EDRA’s mental health units.

One day after, the IME Project musician Christos Kladas offered an intimate and highly inspirational concert performance at ART4MORE’s festival opening night. This year’s festival focused on untold stories about mental health and these personal narrations were tremendously powerful and influential, addressed at combating stigma. The participating artists made themselves vulnerable by confronting the stigma and telling their real-life stories in the hope that the audience might better understand the challenges of mental health that concern all of us.

Recently, there has been an increased awareness of mental health in the creative industries and the art and music scene of Athens has placed a special focus on mental health. The stigma surrounding mental illness appears to be fading, although slightly.

 A few words about the events mentioned:

GARDENS OF MY MIND is the first EraseRestart event by Sarah P. The event combined a photo exhibition with speeches and a DJ set during the World mental Health Day 2019. Guest speakers: Georgia Michalaria – Psychologist MSc., Psychotherapist and Dimitris Kitsos & Rodanthi Bodozi – representatives of EDRA’s mental health units “IPPOKRATIS I” & “IPPOKRATIS II”. Photographers: Brinkley Capriola (US), Fotini Chora (GR), Colette Pomerleau (US), Marie Weikopf (DE/FR). DJ set by Sophia Sarigiannidou (Marsheaux). More info: EraseRestart: www.eraserestart.com/zine/, Sarah P.: sarahpofficial.com/

ART4MORE is the first Arts and Mental Health Festival in Greece. First launched in 2007, through the years it has hosted thousands of international contemporary performances and artworks including visual arts, music, drama, dance, architecture, new media, and design while raising awareness on mental health. The festival is annually organized by EDRA and is being held under the auspices of the Greek Ministries of Health and Culture. www.art4more.org

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