A brand new project: my friend and colleague Ranjita Dhital and I are going to Kathmandu, Nepal, in August. We will hold a networking event that will bring artists (of all kinds), creatives, healthcare professionals, medics together – colourful, compassionate people, from different generations and with differing perspectives. The event will comprise of a roundtable discussion, creative, hands-on exercises, talking and listening.
The purpose of this trip is to see how setting up an arts-health network could be of value in Nepal. We want to enable creative research practice and education exchanges between the UK and Nepal.
Our aim is to set up a platform for Nepali creatives and people working in the health system to discuss how these fields (arts and health) can work together. We want to see how the richness in Nepali culture and heritage can open new methods and approaches for healthcare.
We come from London, to ask what people in Nepal would want from any collaboration with our university and our creative group. How can a platform (online?) be developed, to establish a national/local resource for creative health in Nepal?
I will make a series of 5-minute documentary films, to be released on TikTok. These films will tell Nepali stories. I will speak with a number of different people, from all walks of life, generations and localities. One of my aims is to listen and sense ancient and modern versions of ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’. I want to learn how or whether these words have meaning in ancient Nepali language and culture, and see the difference from these ancient narratives and the modern, super-imposed, colonial, Western construct of them. We will then discuss the merits of engaging with the arts and nature, creative health.