Corona’s psychological impact processed through art
Maria Nekrasova is a Russian curator living in the Netherlands and responsible for the project “IT IS A PROCESS”. She tells us why she started her project and why she choose to apply for our Culture of Solidarity call for grants: “I felt an urge of doing something, to talk with people mentally affected by the COVID lockdown. The project started from the realization that nobody was “ok”,” she says.
The pandemic has influenced everyone, from the artists left without projects to people who were not directly affected economically or personally and kept their job in smart working. Everybody wants this to end but no one wants to deal with the hard feelings and emotions this quarantine caused. Maria wants to give everyone a chance to share their traumas and frustrations.
The project starts from the idea that art is an important tool to process traumatic experiences and express inner turmoil. Victims are invited to submit their stories of psychological distress and they are then matched with artists who reflect these experiences through art. Maria believes the role of the artist is to reflect what happens in society and help people process it. The grant call arrived really timely because this became a European issue that had to be faced collectively. These months made us realize on one hand, how much we are all connected: when the borders closed we understood how much this affected everybody’s life: business, plans, vacations, projects, and on and on. On the other hand, we realized the importance of our connections: we have to treasure this experience and build a system together to help each other at a European level.
Artists felt that they are not appreciated but she truly believes that art is what kept us mentally safe during the lockdown: from opera performances and community projects, to art pieces that people put on the windows. It is why she decided to connect artists with people who have the need to process their experience.
Explaining the project in detail, Maria explains that it will be developed in three phases. Firstly, Maria and partners reach out to their network of 620 European artists and activate a wider EU-creative community through an open call. The aim is to find at least 100 artists willing to participate. In parallel they use local network organizations, such as Women Against Violence (WAVE) and social media to encourage people to submit their stories about pain, insights, traumas via the website. Secondly, they match the artists with the stories and allow the artists to translate the painful experiences into works of art. Finally, they publish the artworks linked to the story allowing victims to visualize their fears, connect with them and process their feelings.
Additionally, there will be a digital catalogue to make the information available in 27 EU languages so everyone can benefit.
“European solidarity means that everyone can find support and help anytime from anywhere in Europe: if there is someone in another European country that wants to listen to you and finds your story inspiring you will feel empowered and you will understand that your voice is important.
When thinking about our European Union the first things that come to mind are common economic policies and political strategies, but Europe is a cultural space and has to be seen as a common shared emotional space.
Via “It’s a process” everyone can express themselves, help each other and most important, feel that they belong to one cultural, emotional space that is safe, friendly and thrives on collaboration and shared experience.”
Grant awarded: €7.580,00