Madness in the Arts and the Art of Madness: The Transatlantic Research Network on Mental Health and the Arts (TRAMHA)

By Gonzalo Araoz.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

TRAMHA is an international network devised to foster and develop interdisciplinary dialogues, research and exchange on creativity and mental health. One of our main aims is to broaden our knowledge and understanding of the relationship between individuals and their environments in the assessment of the factors affecting people’s mental health in specific contexts. General emotional numbness is a notable social symptom of mental ill health, and madness can be seen as an effect or a reflection of socio-economic, cultural and political circumstances. We believe that if severe means are to be employed in order to deal with severe mental health problems, the implementation of artistic activities in strange contexts might complement (and perhaps even replace) the use of extreme medication and extreme therapy. Similarly, it is expected that the deployment of artistic work by “lunatics” in public spaces could contribute to diminish the emotional numbness of society.

Keywords: Madness, Mental Health, Creativity, Art, Transformation

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.153-160. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.201MB).

Dr. Gonzalo Araoz

Research Fellow, Centre for Health Research and Practice Development, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, Lancashire County, UK

I am an anthropologist working as a research fellow in the Faculty of Health at the university of Cumbria in the UK. Originally it was my involvement in artistic activities with a Bolivian painter that triggered my interest in anthropology. Similarly, my research experiences in rural and urban contexts in South America and the UK have informed my current interest in the links between research, theory and practice, as my own personal experiences have also led me to create an interdisciplinary network on mental health and the arts. This is the project that I would like to introduce in the conference.


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