A hospital and museum in Barcelona are planning to use art to help “persons of different cultural origins” who have been subjected to domestic violence and other trauma-inducing episodes.
Pampasnasturtium, who translated the article for Gates of Vienna, includes this prefatory note:
Western art used to combat marital rape/wife-beating/clitoridectomy/taharrush-gamea/you-name-it… The nth attempt by the native Eloi to find solutions to problems caused by imported Morlocks.
Vall d’Hebron Hospital is world-class, second-to-none when it comes to research staff and installations. It’s featured weekly in local TV and print news for this or that positive scientific breakthrough, but I’m not so sure about this one…
There’s no mention of ethnicity or nationalities. Would we be right to suppose it’s more Middle East and Northern Africa than Latin America? A visual images activity quite likely directed at individuals whose upbringing conditions them to reject mimetic representation outright (‘haram’)? Sounds to me like another potential ‘€150 million to employ 120 persons’ scheme like the one outed this week in Milan.
The translated article from Europa Press news service:
National Museum of Art of Catalonia and Vall d’Hebron Hospital launch new treatments through art
February 11, 2019
Refugee and immigrant women under post-traumatic stress will test a therapy
The National Museum of Catalonian Art (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, MNAC) and the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus have joined together to launch new treatments through art, the first of them in the field of psychology for some thirty women of diverse cultural origins who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to what was explained during a press conference this Monday by the head of Psychiatry Services at the center, Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, it’s a ‘very ambitious’ project, since it will be the first time a strategy has been designed with persons of different cultural origins who have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
He stated that the therapy will start by the end of April, and will take place during ten sessions of two hours each, the first ones for reception/welcome, the others for unconscious feelings to come to the surface so the story of the trauma can be clearer, while at the same they will enable a ‘social interconnection among them [the patients]’.
Thirty patients have been selected in total — half of them will undergo the therapy at the hospital, and the rest in the museum — all of them having diverse cultural origins: (female) refugees and immigrant women, chosen this way because ‘more than 70% of immigrant women in Catalonia experience situations of gender violence’. [Translator’s note: ‘violencia de género’ is literally ‘gender violence’ but it’s locally understood, almost exclusively, as male-on-female domestic violence.]
All of the patients selected fit into a pattern of post-traumatic stress after having gone through different complex traumas, such as ‘sexual attack, mistreatment, abuse, heart strokes and second-degree burns’, which cause conditions of anxiety in them which they chronically relive time and again, with sleep and mood disruption, among others.
This therapy is intended to be an original and innovative improvement to allow the patients to form better interpersonal bonds, gain improvements in mood and achieve a higher self-esteem, as well as increasing resilience when confronted with future situations.
Ramos-Quiroga has said that after impacting these patients, the hospital is interested in expanding the therapy to autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and children with fetal alcohol syndrome.
The regional government’s Culture secretary, Laura Borràs, highlighted that culture has an important social dimension — it even ‘cures or can help cure’ — and has celebrated that the project will have an impact on women in vulnerable situations, and especially gender violence cases.
The health secretary, Alba Vergés, has manifested her conviction that culture offers many benefits to patients, and has also praised the project for starting with vulnerable women: ‘Persons are not vulnerable on their own, but instead they’re made vulnerable by situations they find themselves in.’
The director of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, Pepe Serra, has expressed regret that 70% of society neither visits museums, nor knows whether they’re interested in them, due to the social gap: ‘It’s the great pending revolution’.
The head of Vall d’Hebron, Vicenç Martínez, has defended the fact that his center is the biggest public hospital in Catalonia, which assists 45,000 persons daily, and has celebrated that this project is a very important first step of a general agreement that must include a ‘MNAC Space’ within the hospital.
About this exhibition space he confirmed that the location has already been chosen within a big enough area, and that it will try to combat the stress which doctors, families and patients are subjected to: ‘It will be a place where one may go in order to relax,’ and where an audio recording will explain the works installed.