Mann Mela, a digital and travelling psychological well being museum shares first-person tales of trauma, self-acceptance, restoration and progress
It’s Persepolis in color and set in India — Imphal to Mumbai. Sadam Hanjabam has made a quasi-graphic novel of his journey in self-acceptance, from rising out of a psychological well being disaster to establishing Ya_All , a youth and queer-led and -focussed organisation within the North-eastern area of India.
The illustrations are a part of Mann Mela, one in every of India’s first digital museums devoted to sharing private, autobiographical tales of psychological well being, from youth throughout India, within the age group of 18 to 35. “Overcoming my trauma and sharing my experiences on psychological well being and inclusion have been very overwhelming,” reveals Sadam. Began by Sangath, Mann Mela is a step ahead from its initiative, It’s Okay To Discuss, the latter being a weblog of psychological well being diaries.
By way of sharing individuals’s experiences, Mann Mela hopes to deal with frequent misconceptions round psychological situations, break stigma related and encourage looking for assist.
“We wished to seize first-person narratives however by utilising new media codecs to speak about it in a way more nuanced means. Which means utilizing illustrations, movie, interactive movies, VR and so forth,” says Pattie Gonsalves, undertaking head at It’s Okay To Discuss and founding father of Mann Mela.
If Sadam’s story is in an illustrated kind, Chandigarh-based Tarini Chawla’s story of being recognized with Borderline Persona Dysfunction, is in calmly animated chapters, voiced by her. Eight others are to hitch Sadam and Tarini’s, and launched month-to-month on the Mann Mela web site.
Since April, Pattie and her group travelled to 5 locations: New Delhi, Goa, Bhopal, Ahmedabad and Imphal, and held group discussions of 72 individuals with lived experiences of psychological well being wants. A group of seven younger psychological well being advocates and 4 psychological well being professionals, consulted with 38 individuals from 10 cities that included technologists, artists, psychological well being consultants, and researchers. “We additionally held a nationwide psychological well being artist-in-residence programme with 10 younger artists chosen by way of a nationwide utility,” provides Pattie.
Every story takes three to 4 months to create; the interviews are transcribed, scripts are written, and the video or paintings is created. “The individual whose story it’s, participates as a lot as potential, whether or not it’s by lending audio or by reviewing and writing components of the script,” she says.
Nicely earlier than the launch of this digital museum — earlier than the pandemic struck — Mann Mela was envisioned as a travelling museum that might take the dialog of psychological well being from metropolis to metropolis. “The net museum was purported to be extra for archiving the artefacts we displayed within the bodily areas, however as issues stand proper now, we’re going digital-first,” says Pattie.
A prototype of the museum, hosted in Goa in February, is a precursor to what the travelling museum will finally entail. “We wished it to be an immersive house, the place individuals can work together with different individuals’s journeys and really feel like they’re attending to know the opposite individual higher.”
A human library of types: corporeal. “For instance within the (One Day within the Life Of…) stations, we recreated a bit of this individual’s bed room with completely different objects, and headphones had been offered to take heed to audio cues, of that particular person telling you their story. So it appears like you’re with them.”
Nevertheless, now, when the museum travels once more, issues must be modified. Six individuals in a sales space, sharing headphones, touching a display, shall be out of the query. “Like museums throughout, we should innovate,” says Pattie.
Underlining the need of relaying private tales of psychological well being, she says, “Individuals perceive these significantly better than an mental sounding PSA [public service announcement]”. Furthermore, she provides, that it helps consider the various socio-political realities within the nation. Rising up in a conflict-embattled space, or being of a sure sexual orientation influences psychological well being in separate methods.
Alongside the tales, in addition they have studying sources, equally illustrated in an easy-to-understand-and-share method in each English and Hindi. “It tells you that if they’ve recovered, you’ll be able to too. That sort of solidarity encourages individuals to hunt assist,” she says.
However even if you do need to search assist, is assist available in India — a rustic that has far much less medical psychologists than it has psychiatrists? Maybe not, “which is why,” says Pattie, “we need to prepare non-specialists to have the ability to present first help. We need to equip younger individuals with life abilities that permit them to assist themselves and other people round them earlier than they should leverage exterior help.”
Go to mannmela.in