The Interview: Young peoples' experiences of stigma and discrimination

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition


The Interview (formerly titled Your Shout) was an exhibition by Lambeth College L3 BTEC Extended Diploma Art students in collaboration with HERON and Faces in Focus, an advice, information, support and counselling service for young people in Southwark and Lambeth. The Interview was an exhibition of work inspired and made in response to a series of dialogues that took place between HERON facilitators and young people who have been using services at Faces in Focus. HERON facilitators asked these young people to describe their personal experiences of unfair treatment and discrimination and anonymised text from the dialogues was presented to students at Lambeth College to inspire their artwork. The students also incorporated their own personal experiences to create additional layers of narrative. The end result has been to produce a series of maquettes, photographs and ‘mood’ walls that re-imagine spaces in which these dialogues took place. From this, they developed further images and animated projections interpreting the events taking place in the dialogues. The project began with a HERON workshop in November 2012 at the David Goldberg Centre for Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, to introduce the project to 21 students (18 art and design and 3 dance students). The main aim of the session was to introduce the HERON team and the rationale behind the project. The sessions were delivered and facilitated by Bwalya Kankulu and Billy Gazard, HERON coordinators and research assistants. The session focused on enhancing the student’s background knowledge on mental health and the arts. The following topics were presented: • The history of the Maudsley Hospital • Gaining a better understanding of mental health in general • The importance of Art and Mental Health; examples of projects funded by the Maudsley Charity • Various projects within HERON using Art and Photography To ensure the session was fun and interactive, we included some video clips from animated minds to give examples of how oral testimonies have been used to develop visual interpretations. There were detailed discussions about the project amongst the group, followed by an extensive question and answer session regarding the aims of the project and how HERON can assist them in the coming months with their project. The team received very positive feedback regarding the session from students and Lambeth College faculty. The project received a £400 award from the KCL Public Engagement small grants committee in November 2012 to support a public event to showcase the project. The event took from the 6th to 9th June 2013, with an opening event the evening of the 6th June, at the Bermondsey Project, 46 Willow Walk, London SE1 5SF ( During the opening event there was also a one-off performance of Slipped-aways, a performance by Lambeth College L3 BTEC Extended Diploma Performing Arts, Acting and Dance students in collaboration with HERON and Faces in Focus. Slipped-aways is a performance exploration of the same dialogues collected by HERON. The performance particularly concerns issues of anonymity, disappearance, redaction, and physical and psychological pain that manifests from experiences of unfair treatment and discrimination. Two different course groups are involved in the project and they have been studying mime and butoh respectively and their performance work will be presented in those mediums. As such the performance is non-verbal and heavily stylised. The actors mimic the interview process itself, exhuming autobiographical memories through mime; the dancers constructed highly impressionistic butoh vignettes inspired by the above listed issues. The students also performed this piece on the 13th and 14th March 2013 at the Omnibus arts centre ( Locally relevant results from the NIHR Mental Health BRC South East London Community Health (SELCoH) study, particularly the preliminary results from the second phase of SELCoH (partly funded by the ESRC) on the nature of experiences of perceived and anticipated discrimination, were an integral part to planning the interviews and contextualising this work. We will continue to use this work to generate discussion about discrimination, stigma and health in local communities in future events.
Period6 Jun 20139 Jun 2013
Event titleThe Interview
Event typeExhibition
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map