The event included a Family Fun Day with music and entertainment, child-friendly art and activities as well as information stalls set up by AHIP partners. These gave the public a chance to appreciate art, health and youth development initiatives in the country.
The installation was a three-part public art mural, where some of the renowned local artists painted the outside wall between the two parking areas of the mall.
Three artists who created the installation were Khwezi, Rexx and Refilwe popularly known as Wale. Each artist tackled one public health issue. Khwezi’s piece focused on hypertension while Rexx’s piece on mental health and Wale’s piece on HIV/AIDS.
The event successfully got curious passersby a chance to ask about the mentioned health conditions as anticipated by the organisers. The event was a success as its main aim was to sensitise the public about such ailments.
Arting Health chairperson, Abraham Mamela told Showtime they decided to bring artists and scientists to work together under one roof with the intention of sensitising the public on HIV, mental health and hypertension. He said they were trying to bring unusual and unique ways that have never been used by any organisation in the country to change the public’s mindset on these illnesses.
we are aware, art has the potential of touching people. We hope this event will be able to create dialogue between the general public, artists and scientists. Passersby can interact with the artists, community representatives and biomedical practitioners, allowing the interaction to influence the artworks. This project is running in all partner countries (South Africa, Botswana and India) and will initiate larger projects, including additional cross-country collaborations,” he said.
Arting Health for Impact is an international Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance funded collaborative public engagement partnership between Botswana, India and South Africa. It brings together street artists, biomedical practitioners, NGOs and communities in an effort to engage the public on public health issues.
Mamela said the project unites stakeholders in the co-creation of street art installations that inspire the public, trigger social dialogue, challenge science and the community and unpack scientific concepts for laymen in a unique, stimulating and thought-provoking way.
He explained that the outcome of a workshop that was held in April, a weeklong artist residency held in May and a subsequent month of artistic exploration and conceptualisation influenced those installations.
In Botswana, Duma FM and Molapo Crossing sponsored Arting Health for Impact, in partnership with Alliance Française, University of Botswana, Botswana Society for the Arts, Botswana Society for Human Development, Botswana Network for Mental Health and the Department of Research, Science and Technology.