• State of Mind uses the arts and storytelling to open bigger dialogue with the public and communities on today's unprecedented displacement crises.


    State of Mind is aimed at widening the scope of current discussions to more strongly connect mental health and displacement in public debates and artistic platforms. Collaborating with museums, institutions and organisations, we show how artistic spaces and the power of empathy-driven narratives can help challenge preconceived notions of displaced communities, open minds to the lived experiences of displacement, and build better respect for how trauma, anxiety, stress and depression affect people's lives - whether in refugee camps or urban communities. These spaces will seek to transform and interrogate perceptions of displaced persons as categories of people to be 'Othered', stereotyped or excluded, and bring more nuanced interpretation to concepts of identity, belonging and inclusion in resettlement.


    Our research will draw on how public engagement, when understood through behavioural sciences, can create positive social change and inspire leadership in the reaction to and reception of displaced communities.


    State of Mind brings to the public a diversity of talks, expressive arts and visual narratives, including exhibitions, practical workshops, screenings, and spoken word events.




    Discovering how the arts impact our well-being and health through collaborative engagements between neuroscientists and artists to inform positive interaction in public spaces.


    Creating opportunities for dialogue between asylum and refugee communities, civil society organisations and the public on social cohesion and integration in refugee resettlement - centralised through a mental health lens.


    Opening spaces for artists to reimagination how mental health in displacement is presented and represented in our mainstream discussions to move beyond shame, silence and stigma.


    Understand and engage with lived experiences of displacement to communciate empathy, inclusiveness and open minds to the reality of life on the run and what communities can do to affect social change.


    Connecting science and arts to action and civic dialogue on displacement: external reports, podcasts and vidoes

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    European Union (2017): How Culture and the Arts Can Promote Intercultural Dialogue in the Context of the Migratory and Refugee Crisis

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    Salzburg Global Seminar (2017): The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal. Session Report 573.

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    European Expert Network on Culture and Audiovisual (2016): The Role of Culture and the Arts in the Integration of Refugees and Migrants.

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    IETM (2016): Creation and Displacement - Developing New Narratives around Migration

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    European Parliament (2017): Research for CULT Committee - Why Cultural Work with Refugees

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    Cultural Learning Alliance and Place2Be (2018): The Arts, Health & Wellbeing - Why Do Arts Make Us Happier?

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    Child Art Magazine (2017): Your Brain on Art.. VOL. 17, ISSUE 3, NUMBER 51

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    Salzburg Global Seminar (2015): The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? Session 547.

    This Is Your Brain on Picasso: The Human Brain on Art

    Wall Street Journal

    Your Brain on Art:

    Understanding the Brain in Creative Action

    University of Houston

    Unpacked: Refugee Baggage

    TRT World

    Refugee Artists Return to Syrian Yarmouk Camp to Depict Dreams

    TRT World


    Al-Harah Theater is a non-profit organization founded in 2005, based in Beit Jala- Palestine. It aims at raising awareness, creating positive change in the society, enhancing the cultural level and artistic taste of people and delivering the Palestinian voice through the production and distribution of theater work at a high artistic level to all members of the Palestinian Arabs and international societies in general, children and youth in particular.




    A new digital commissioning programme to support displaced Syrian artists has been launched by The Space and the British Council

    Hailing from one of the most mystical and musically rich cities in the Levant, Hello Psychaleppo is deeply rooted in oriental music tradition. He uses melodies of the Arab bedouin “Mawwals” and the ecstatic strains of tarab, and threads it through convoluted, industrial structures made from dubstep, drum & bass, electro and trip-hop. He creates a journey away from boundaries of style, engaging souls into letting go while experiencing a new dimension of sonic blends.





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    'Child Labour' - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon


    Bassam 12, Tamer 11, Lubna 16 and Farah 11, pose in a picture that depicts their experiences working. Many Syrian children in the Anjar refugee camp in Lebanon are forced to work to help support their families. Bassam and Tamer both sell tissues for a living after a wall fell on their father's leg during shelling in Syria, rendering him unable to work. They often work for 12 hours a day, earning on average just $3. Both brothers have faced abuse whilst working.

    Many girls also work in factories peeling oranges to make tinned fruit, often working 7am to 6pm, earning as little as $8 a day. Children who work miss schooling in order to support their families. Lubna says "education is very important. I feel it is especially important for girls. When girls get education, they are respected in society. Some girls even have jobs in factories. They shouldn't be working - they should be studying".

    The bright background of the image reflects the common practice of using old advertising flex to cover refugee tents to make them waterproof. This acts as an interesting juxtaposition between child labour and the branded products that might be produce.

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    'What Happened (The Past)' - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon


    Walaa, 11, left Syria with her pregnant mother because airstrikes had blown up all the hospitals, schools and supermarkets in the area. They had no access to food, water or health services - everything they needed to survive. One day, as she was walking home, Walaa saw her school explode before her eyes, as shells landed on the buildings. She could smell burning and heard the sound of plane engines as they flew low overhead.

    This image uses an original drawing created by Walaa to tell the story of the moment her school was bombed. Walaa's drawing has been re-created and enlarged into a 3D tableau, using props made by children in the camp. Walaa says, "the aircraft targeted the school with rockets. I thought my uncles had been killed and I cried." Many Syrian refugee children experience first-hand the devastating impact of airstrikes on homes and schools.

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    'The Mountain Journey' – Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania.

    Children in the Nyarugusu camp for Burundian refugees re-enact crossing the mountains of Burundi on foot in order to find refuge in Tanzania. Iveye, 6, is pictured on the far left carrying her 18 month-old sister Rebecca on her back. It took Iveye five days to travel from her home to Tanzania with her two sisters and her father, Pierre.

    Pierre says, “When we reached the border, the police on the Burundian side would not let me cross into Tanzania with my daughters. So I separated from them and snuck across the border using a secret path. When I had safely reached the other side, I came out and signaled to Iveye* and her sisters. When they saw me, they ran across the border right under the gaze of the policemen who could do nothing to stop them.”

    Many children have to take this journey all alone, sometimes walking for 2 days without food. Along the way, many sustain injuries from stones on the path, vegetation and dark ravines. This mountain depiction is a visual rendering of the actual mountains children have to cross.

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    'Doctor Malaria' – Nyarugusu Camp, Tanzania.

    This image depicts the future dream of a young boy, Anicet, aged ten, who wishes to be a doctor treating malaria when he grows up. Malaria is the biggest killer in the Nyarugusu refugee camp where Anicet lives. Having fled his native Burundi with his grandparents nearly a year ago, Anicet, attends a Temporary Learning Space run by Save the Children in the camp. His dreams represent those of tens of thousands of children who have fled Burundi and now hope for a better future through education. Anicet says, “I want to be a doctor so that I can help people, make a difference and save lives. This would make me a very important person and it would help me get something in my life.”

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    'Education' - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

    Hatem, 15, has spent four years in the camp. He initially went to school for two years, but had to stop as his family had no money to carry on his education. He used to love school and his favourite subjects were Maths, English and Arabic. Hatem had planned to go to university and join the army but now those dreams are all gone.

    He said he is "sad and scared' about his destiny. "When I was in Syria, I saw my school getting hit by an airstrike. I was scared that my house would be targeted. We fled the shelling and came here. Now that i am in Lebanon, I will not become a teacher. There are schools here but we don't have money to pay the tuition and continue studying. Education is important. You can become a teacher at a school instead of working as a porter and getting a lot of physical pain. Because I am working now and I have been off school for 3 years, I have missed a lot of studying and won't be able to fill the gap". He now sells clothes at a Souk in a market and practices Dabke dance in the camp to keep himself busy.



    Calais Camp



    Syrians in Greece



    Colombian's After the Peace Deal



    Life in Gaza



    The Other View on Gaza



    The Palestinian Struggle



    Syria's War


    Parkour in Gaza



    Children of War