LDN Experiences

Published on January 6th, 2016 | by Francesca Baker


Changing Minds Arts Festival, Southbank

The benefits of creativity and art in supporting wellbeing have long been known, and there are roads being taken to integrate art into health and therapeutic settings. This year the Southbank Centre launches a new weekend festival, Changing Minds, looking closely at the topic of mental health through a programme of performance, music, comedy, design, talks and panel discussions.

The line-up includes speakers from across the fields of science & technology, politics, literature, academia, medicine, arts and pop culture, workshops offering an opportunity to explore the powers of the arts, and performances addressing stigma, experience and perception.

Brigette Aphrodite

Highlights include My Beautiful Black Dog, in which punk-poet-musician Brigitte Aphrodite presents her one-woman musical show challenging the stigma of mental health through infectious dance moves and riotous tunes.  A discussion on the well documented link between creativity and mental health, an exploration of how we demonstrate care in all ways from mental health to asylum support and expert consultant psychiatrist at Bethlem Royal Hospital Dr Sukhwinder S Shergill detailing the role neuroscience has to play in our understanding of mental health.

There will also be a keynote speech with Labour MP Luciana Berger and Shadow Minister for Mental Health discusses her newly created role as well as some off kilter comedy from Sofie Hagen, Jack Rooke and the vacuum cleaner guy. Oh, and of course the topic of mindfulness is addressed.

Changing Minds Festival

Weekend passes cover all talks, debates and some performances, but throughout the Royal Festival Hall foyer spaces a free programme of event provides all visitors with the opportunities to address and challenge our understanding of mental health. There’s the Arts Pharmacy, where resident ‘arts doctors’ will give a personalised arts prescription for various ailments, the Clore Ballroom is transformed into the Mind Space offering drop-in workshops, yoga, singing, dance, mindfulness colouring, and a festival library curated by Matt Haig. There’s also the opportunity to practise mindfulness and people can watch the bite size theatre project, where  Wishbone Theatre explore what it’s like to live a fulfilling life with bipolar affective disorder by taking up long-distance cycling, all to an immersive soundtrack by Conor OB.

The Changing Minds festival comes to the Southbank Centre 6-7 February 2016


Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX

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About the Author

Francesca Baker is curious about life and enjoys writing about it. A freelance journalist, event organiser, and minor marketing whizz, she has plenty of ideas, and likes to share them. She writes about music, literature, life, travel, art, London, and other general musings, and organises events that contain at least one of the above. You can find out more at www.andsoshethinks.co.uk and follow her on https://twitter.com/andsoshethinks

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