“Schizofriends Art Movement” is an art initiative
dedicated to realizing the capacity of each person living with schizophrenia to be an active and creative being.
This initiative seeks to produce a dynamic experience for participants, with the goal of supporting psycho-social rehabilitation for people with mental disabilities and psycho-education for the public.
Established by Ketemu’s artist, Budi Agung Kuswara (Kabul), this initiative harnesses both open-ended tasks and designed experiences as a form of collective empowerment, that is both critical and therapeutic. The movement first begun as a collaboration between Kabul and psychiatrist Dr Gst Rai Putra Wiguna sp.KJ, kickedstarted by a seed grant from the Mabesikan: Art for Social Change Project initiated by Search for Common Ground. Through a series of creative workshops held at Ketemu Project Space people with the condition from Bali were provided opportunities for expression and activities for them to develop a more vital relationship with reality. The workshops also enabled the community vocationally by providing skills for them to work and live more independently. After a series of public campaigns, Rumah Berdaya, a psychosocial rehabilitation centre was founded in 2016 with the support of the local government. This flagship creative space for people living with schizophrenia is now independently run by a team of psychiatrists and the members of Komunitas Peduli Skizofrenia Indonesia (KPSI) Bali.
In the next phase of the Schizofriends Art Movement, Ketemu will be embarking on a series of artistic interventions with the intention of affecting social reality. The outcomes of these interventions will tap on the collective artistic imagination of the people living with schizophrenia and their care-givers or family members – looking at the ways that they deal with form, experience and meaning. Art will be a means and an end to this project – it will provide a sanctuary for participants to safely discuss about the stigma and challenges of a life with the illness; art will also be the constant force of mutation and subversion to look at this mental health issues from a more universal perspective.