Promoting social acceptance of mentally disabled people through art
The project is carried out with the support
of the International Visegrad Fund
According to a recently published WHO study, one in four people in the world are affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Mental disorder is among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. It has reached epidemic proportions in today’s world, therefore it is of paramount importance how society responds to people with mental and brain disorders. Stigma, discrimination and neglect often prevent these people to find a purpose in life and consequently they will depend on social support throughout their life.
This project aims to demonstrate that every single person, even those with mental challanges are born with a talent to develop. Discovering this talent and creating an opportunity to express it greatly contributes to the social acceptance of our fellow human beings with special needs. Art is a particularly suitable area where mentally challenged people are able to express their talent. They speak perfectly the language of emotions which is the fundamental ingredient of any artistic performance.
Baltazar Theatre Company has accumulated 22 years of experience in working with people with down syndrome and other mental disabilities and achieved admirable results both in terms of the level of our artistic performance as well as in providing our mentally disabled actors a stable framework to look after themselves and their families. The two project partners, The Lublin Theatretherapy Foundation and the Banska Bystrica based Theatre from the Passage have also acquired longstanding experience in artistic education of mentally challenged people. They follow the same philosophy as Baltazar Theatre Company: discovering, developing and showcasing the talent in art of mentally challenged people, thus facilitating social appreciation and acceptance of the mentally disabled.
The project proposes to conduct joint artistic workshops for actors with mental disabilities from the participant organizations, put on stage a joint performance and arrange for local media coverage in the countries of the participants highlighting the achievements to be attained through consistantly engaging mentally disabled people in artistic performances.