The Power of the Artidote: Healing through art
- 3 Posts
- Age 19
About a month ago, I had a wonderful opportunity of attending the Under 25 Summit in Bangalore, a widely recognized youth festival in India. The Summit, which personifies the voice of the youth, is held every year, with the objective of bringing established artists and entrepreneurs from all walks of life to engage the audience in informative sessions and interesting anecdotes revolving around their journey to success. Since, this year, I was going to attend the Summit for the first time, I booked my ticket under the insistence of my friends, who had convinced me that this event was not only going to offer a lot of fun-filled and exciting activities, but that it would also give me some much needed perspective in life.
Interestingly, a few days before the event, a classmate of mine was talking about 'The Artidote' and urged me to follow their page on social media. Even though, I had heard about most of the speakers on the panel, I had no knowledge about Jovanny Varela-Ferreyra, the brilliant mastermind behind 'The Artidote'. A few minutes later, I started following their page on Facebook and was immediately drawn towards the raw vulnerability that their posts carried with them. Their honest portrayal of human emotions captured through their gripping art work, in the light of mental health issues, instantly struck a chord with me and I found myself constantly checking their page for new updates.
Certainly, on the day of the Summit, I was absolutely thrilled to have had the privilege of listening to Jovanny Ferreyra in person. While, I had expected myself to feel a little overwhelmed by his presence at first, I was also surprised to see that my initial response after listening to him had been that of instant relief. Although, I wasn't able to wrap my head around why I felt this way, I later reflected back upon my experience at the Summit.
It was during this session that I was reminded of the fact that each one of us is fighting our own battles in this world. Jovanny's speech proved to be strangely comforting because he made me realize that even though, we all deal with our issues independently, we're still bound by a common thread of togetherness as we find comfort in each other. As I remembered seeing countless chits being put into 'The Artidote' confession box earlier that evening, I understood that I was not alone.
More often, than not, a lot of us refuse to acknowledge how we feel and deliberately shy away from expressing ourselves with the fear of being misunderstood or even attracting the wrong kind of attention. However, we must understand that while, most people are interested in projecting a happy version of their lives, we rarely get to see the struggle behind their cheerful facade. Although, a large section of the population in India chooses to suffer in silence, we must note that communities like 'The Artidote' play a powerful role in influencing young minds. By being a part of popular youth festivals such as the Under 25 Summit, they not only help in considerably reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues and actively promote awareness among the youth, but they also provide a platform for individuals to reach out and ask for help concerning the same.