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Public art campaign shines light on mental health amid pandemic

By Maria Weldali - Nov 04,2020 - Last updated at Nov 04,2020

The Embassy of the Netherlands in cooperation with online art platform artmejo launched a campaign titled ‘mindthemind’ to raise awareness about the importance of mental health through public art (Photo courtesy of artmejo)

AMMAN — The Embassy of the Netherlands in cooperation with online art platform artmejo launched a campaign titled “#mindthemind” to raise awareness about the importance of mental health through public art.

The campaign, launched on World Mental Health Day on October 10, aims at creating effective and rhythmic melodies and colours that explore labels associated with mental health.

The campaign included an open call for artists and muralists to submit works of art that address the issue, whereas there was an independent panel that chose four artists to collaborate on three large-scale murals in Amman, gearing towards sending messages of hope that move the attention to mental health, according to an embassy statement.

In Jordan, mental health and well-being remains a topic that is often stigmatised. The campaign was launched to tackle this stigmatisation and encourage discussions about mental health, the statement said.   

“Mental health has been at the forefront of discussions as the whole world deals with the disruptions and challenges brought about by the pandemic,” read the statement.

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Jordan Barbara Joziasse said: “We are very proud to have launched the #mindthemind campaign this year and we hope it encourages more people to talk about the importance of mental health.”

Hind Joucka, artmejo founder, on Tuesday told The Jordan Times over the phone that the artworks are inspired by the artists’ personal experiences, noting that  “the murals have a nostalgic feel to the artists, as they try to promote a better tomorrow and the memories of simpler times”.

The three artworks follow a character, from someone dealing with emotional and mental issues to adjusting and adapting and finally to reaching a state of peace with the harshness of the past, “whereas the bad times did not disappear, the character just knows how to deal with them better,” said an artmejo statement shared with The Jordan Times. 

“Our aim for the murals is to create  positive, happy and calming visuals in the streets of Amman that would touch the inner child of the viewers and do a bit of healing,” Omar Shaheen and Sara Allan said in the embassy statement.

In addition to the three murals, the embassy and artmejo assigned a group of local musicians to compose and perform a song that tackles mental health issues.

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