Young and Curious

November 6, 2020

Selection of pieces from Young & Curious public Doodle night exploring experiences of mental health

Young & Curious / Pivot Collective

For our contribution towards the Breath symposium, the Young & Curious group will offer a selection of creative pieces reflecting on the broader symposium theme. For us, the theme has provoked meditations on our personal and collective struggles as young people in contemporary South Africa to achieve and maintain emotional well-being. These questions are framed by both the immediate crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader structural inequalities that shape our lives. The pieces we offer will include a short film documenting a group project, eight individual submissions, and a selection of drawings from a public co-creation event we facilitated. The first piece, a short film conceived and directed by the group, depicts the struggles we face to continue running towards our goals and towards something bigger than ourselves. The individual pieces from group members include: a poem on domestic violence in context of COVID-19, a multimedia project exploring the experiences of women in contemporary South Africa, a poem reflecting on what it means to stay sane when everything is crumbling within, a painting visualizing one participant’s own struggles with mental health, two graphic works and accompanying reflections, and a three-part audiovisual collaboration called “Pockets of Intention.” Finally, we will offer a series of anonymous doodles from a public event we held earlier this year in which we invited people from different walks of life to reflect on their understandings of mental health and mental illness. As a collection, these pieces will provide both individual creative reflections and collaborative knowledge creation processes, thus allowing for different perspectives on the central theme of emotional well-being in contemporary South Africa. 




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Young & Curious

About Young & Curious / Pivot Collective

The Pivot Collective is a non-profit based in Cape Town committed to collaborative knowledge production, knowledge translation and the decolonization of research. In 2019, we invited a group of 12 young people from Cape Town (recruited through an open call for participants) to collaborate on a project focused on challenging dominant narratives and perceptions of mental health and emotional well-being. The project, called Young & Curious, uses arts-based, participatory methodologies to support young people tell their own stories, define what matters to them, and communicate this to wider audiences. Together we have created an experimental space where young people, and the young-at-heart, work together to explore and deconstruct ideas of mental health and emotional wellbeing and to spark critical conversations between young people, academic researchers, artists, engagement practitioners, and service providers that shift hierarchies of knowledge and research cultures.