In a Paper titled ‘Addressing Mental Illness in Africa’ Researcher Nicole Monteiro highlighted plenty of what is wrong with the general perception and management of Mental Health and Illness on the continent; from inadequate human resources, infrastructure, cultural conflict and stigma. Despite this, Mental Illness is an evergrowing problem affecting all segments of the African population.
We’ve often referred to the power of the Arts as a social commentator or societal reflection and Award-winning Zambian Photographer Emmanuel Bich’ri seemed to have gotten the memo by hosting a photo-documentary exhibition titled ‘My Life in Shadows’ which is focused on people living with Mental Health challenges in Zambian Rural and Urban Environments.
We first were acquainted with Bich’ri at the Vic Falls Carnival and Zed Vic Falls Party Bus of 2017 and were taken by his crisp pauses of time and expression and are keen to see his take on such a serious subject. Fast forward to now speaking to him about this upcoming awareness centred exhibit, Bich’ri shared on how this subject was close to home.
“Personally, I suffer from Anxiety and I have a friend who suffers from Depression”
“By doing this documentary I want to more people suffering from mental illness to be helped, to be illuminated, not to live in the dark and be suffering. I hope this will amplify people living with Mental illnesses to be heard, seen and valued” – Bich’ri
The documentary plans to uncover untold stories from suffering from these issues or people looking after the victims on June the 20th, 2018. The first My Life In Shadows Photo Exhibition will be held at American Corner (Copperbelt University) in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province.