Panels from the Media and Mental Health workgroup, led by Mireille Berton & Bregt Lameris
Much as literature can “repair the world” (Gefen 2017), audiovisual cultures, practices, and imaginaries have, from the outset, tried repairing our conditions as victims, to fight against illness, to relieve our traumas, to foster our empathic inclination. By taking the opposite side of the discourse that laments the damaging effects of screens (analog and digital) on the psyche, these panels explore, through case studies, the restorative, healing and reconciling effects of audiovisual images in the field of mental health.
While moving images have often caused concern because of their suggestive power, they have also been perceived as a valuable tool for health education, and sometimes even for health itself. This is evidenced by the recommendations of doctors in defense of the motion pictures (Berton 2015, 2016. 2017; Toropova 2022), the construction, within hospital institutions, of spaces dedicated to cinematographic projections seen as a leisure activity supporting the mental balance of the patients (Hennefeld 2022), moving colors used to heal shell shock soldiers, such as Auroratone films (Pernuit 2021), or more recently the creation of multimedia or immersive dispositifs meant to represent mental illness such as Goliath. Playing with reality or have therapeutical effects (Cavaletti & Grossi 2020).
These panels invite us to reflect on the question of “care” understood in the broad sense at two levels: that of practices, discourses and representations regarding the therapeutic or restorative powers of the media; and that of the historical or archaeological approach, which consists of taking care of “fragile” objects such as films, images, sounds, media, audiovisual devices, etc. (Denis & Pontille 2022).
Panel B2, 15th June, 11 am – Caring and Repairing through Audiovisual Images: Films and other Medias for Mental Health – Part I – Film and Video – Chair: Mireille Berton (University of Lausanne)
- Paper 1 –– Beatrice Irwin and the Therapeutic Culture of North American Screen Practices (1910–1940), Pierre-Jacques Pernuit (University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
- Paper 2 — Caring Colours, Bregt Lameris (Open University of the Netherlands)
- Paper 3 — Videotherapy through self-confrontation. Methods and approaches in the IAAPP (International Working Group for Audiovision in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy) 1977–1999, Renée Winter (Department of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna)
- Paper 4 — Between self-help and how-to: reproductive (mental) health and prenatal care on film 1920s–1970s, Katrin Pilz (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History, Vienna)
Panel C2, 15th June, 14 pm – Caring for the Mentally Disordered; Learning Practice and Empathy from Mental Health Nursing Films – Chair: Magdalena Zdrodowska (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
- Paper 1 –– Papering over the cracks in nursing recruitment: a look at how films from the archives toe the line between fantasy and reality in mental healthcare, Angela Saward (Wellcome Collection, London)
- Paper 2 –– Filming psychiatric nursing in Switzerland in the 1920s. A maieutic between “care” and “cure”, Raphaël Tinguely (University of Lausanne)
- Paper 3 –– Studying research and teaching films in psychiatry: What practices of care?, Mireille Berton (University of Lausanne)
Panel D2, 16th June, 9 am – Caring and Repairing through Audiovisual Images: Films and other Medias for Mental Health – Part II – Digital Worlds – Chair : Bregt Lameris (Open University of the Netherlands)
- Paper 1 — On the Couch with Arielle and Mowgli. Therapeutic Narratives in Documentaries about Mental Illness, Janin Tschechel (University of Bonn)
- Paper 2 — The mediated practices and narratives of care. Artists and activists with disabilities under quarantine, Magdalena Zdrodowska (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
- Paper 3 — Taking Care. VR, Immersiveness, Intimacy, Elisabetta Modena
- Paper 4 –– Take Care of Your Digital Self: On the Usage of Virtual Reality in Contemporary Psychotherapy Practices, Federica Cavaletti & Giancarlo Grossi (University of Milan)
Panel I9, 17th June, 14 pm – Mental Health in Film and Television
- Paper 1 – Everything Calls for Salvation: Caring for Mental Health among Adolescent through a TV Show, Romana Andó (Sapienza University of Rome) & Leonardo Campagna (Sapienza University of Rome)
- Paper 2 – Consenting When in a Vulnerable Position: An Ethical Discussion on TV Participation, Kjersti Blehr Lånkan (Oslo Metropolitan University)
- Paper 3 – Institutional Films From the Waldau’s Psychiatric Film Collections, or the Shift From the “Cure Gaze” to the “Care Gaze”, Elodie Murtas (University of Lausanne)
- Paper 4 – Cinemas of Insanity: Popular Culture and the Precarization of Care, Simon Schleusener (Freie Universität Berlin)