Last week I met with Bethan Lloyd an independent film maker who is working on a new project. Her project details are below.
I propose to make a film taking a group of 4-5 young adults including myself who struggle with depression to investigate how different cultures across the globe view and deal with this illness. Examples of which could be ritualistic group dance, chanting, and meditation, drumming circles or role-play. Having experienced the source of different cultural and ritualistic practices which help treat/prevent depression in other cultures, we would then explore whether or in what form they are practiced in Britain and if they are as effective here as in their country of origin.
I was diagnosed with depression at age 16. I am now 25. In that time, by travelling around the globe, I discovered many alternative ways of dealing with my illness, all of which I’ve since discovered also exist to varying degrees here in Britain.
Last summer I directed, produced and presented a film which focussed on the use of dance in religion and spirituality. Not only was the process of making the film extremely empowering but I also discovered that through the vehicle of dance I could transform aspects of my life. With the help of this practice I was able to come off medication and better manage my mental health. You can view the film here: https://vimeo.com/35537942
I think that by looking closely and engaging with cultures which still engage in communal and ritualistic practices we can highlight some of the amazing alternative ways of dealing with our mental well-being. Many of these are practiced in Britain but are not well known, stigmatised, or assumed to be too culturally exclusive.
This programme has the potential to create an extremely interesting cross-cultural dialogue around the issue of mental health in modern society, the value and place of community and tradition, and the transferability of different cultural practices in treating an illness which increasingly afflicts many people in Britain today.
If you are interested in taking part get in touch with me at email@example.com