It was a special weekend for our friends from the community Care for Schizophrenia Indonesia – Bali and Ketemu Project. At the Denpasar Yoga Festival held at the Taman Jepun, community members collaborated in an art workshop facilitated by artist, Kabul of Ketemu Project.
Open for public participation, most of the participants were curious about interacting with people living with schizophrenia. During the workshop, Kabul paired a member of the public with a community member. He encouraged the participants to get acquainted and to start a discussion with each other. The atmosphere was relaxed, though there was the occasional awkwardness. But when there were moments when the participants smiled at each other, the exchange became more enjoyable.
In the final stages of this workshop, Kabul invites each pair of participants to
draw or write most memorable though during the exchange on a leaf. Participants then hung the leaf back onto the tree. The tree was not just a community art installation, but also an action that advocates anti-stigma towards schizophrenia.
At the end of the workshop, I asked one of the participants of his impression of the interaction – “At first I questioned whether this interaction will be different from my interactions with people in general, but it was not. I got to meet and enjoy a conversation with Sindu, my partner who lives with schizophrenia. I do not think it makes any difference “.
Kabul explained that the workshop method was a form of artistic intervention. It does not direct participants to a particular conclusion established by the artist-facilitator’s perception. The process and the final form of artwork was shaped by the participants.
Facilitating an opportunity for people living with schizophrenia to interact with members of the public can be an intervention itself.