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Arts and Minds: Healing Post-Conflict Trauma in the Middle East

Arts and Minds: Healing Post-Conflict Trauma in the Middle East

Cléa Daridan (Community Jameel) Christopher Bailey (WHO), Rand Abdul Jabbar and Venetia Porter (British Museum), 6 July 2022 14.00 BST

From our series Culture, Conflict and Recovery in Asia

A growing body of evidence suggests that engagement of the arts and culture can be effective in improving healthcare outcomes in a wide range of settings: from end-of-life care to psychiatric wards and prisons, to tackling trauma among refugees and in post-conflict contexts. How can we strengthen the evidence-base to build a compelling argument for integrating the arts and culture in healthcare planning? And what are the specific opportunities and challenges to use these tools post-conflict?

Cléa Daridan is Curator at Community Jameel, an independent, global organisation advancing science to help communities thrive in a rapidly changing world, where she leads the cultural programmes. Cléa is also a guest lecturer at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Prior to joining Community Jameel, she was a curator and publisher for numerous cultural institutions such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Le French Design by VIA, Intramuros, and SAM Art Projects, and was a resident at Villa Médicis, Académie de France in Rome.

Christopher Bailey is the Arts and Health Lead at the World Health Organization, focusing on the research agenda of the health benefits of the arts, community arts-based health interventions, and working with the global media to use the arts to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of all people. Educated at Columbia, Oxford and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he sees the humanities and the sciences as intimately connected, promoting both the science in the arts, but also the art in the sciences.

Rand Abdul Jabbar is an artist. She borrows from and reconstructs the ephemera of place, history and memory, interrogating the fragility of tangible heritage to create and compose forms that draw on artefacts, architecture and mythology. Her work has been exhibited at the Shubbak Festival (UK), SAVVY Contemporary (Germany), Rabat Biennale (Morocco), Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans (France), Warehouse 421, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, and Jameel Arts Centre (UAE).

Venetia Porter is a curator of Islamic and Contemporary Middle East art at the British Museum where she has been since 1989. She has a BA in Arabic and Persian and an MPhil in Islamic Art from the University of Oxford. Her PhD from the University of Durham is on the history and architecture of Medieval Yemen. She has curated two major exhibitions at the British Museum, Word into Art (2006) and Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam (2012) and was the lead curator for the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World which opened in October 2018.

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