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Programme Arts and Health

Programme aims

This programme evolved out of research conducted by Master’s and doctoral students and is run in partnership with the Hôpitaux de Toulouse, Hôpital Marchant, Clinique Saint-Blancard, Clinique Castelviel, Gérontôpole and CERTOP research centre.

It seeks to explore the vital contribution made by the arts and literature to the construction and restoration of identities (for patients and also for medical staff who are confronted with suffering and death on a daily basis, reminding them of their own vulnerability and mortality). The investigation focuses on both the therapeutic uses of art (e.g. drama therapy, bibliotherapy) and the use of arts media in the representation of mental and physical suffering (where the resulting mirror effect helps “restore” the individuals concerned).

Design and architecture are also explored in direct relation to the construction of three new hospitals in Toulouse, focusing on ways to create treatment and waiting spaces that will contribute to the healing process, or at least will not add to the suffering of patients and their families. Another research element, conducted in association with the IHU project, focuses on issues of independence and the prevention of disabilities linked to ageing.

Contact: Monique Martinez-Thomas

Planned outcomes

This programme makes extensive use of the work of young researchers (doctoral students and post-docs) and research staff from LLA-CRÉATIS, who are working with the CHU to redesign the La Grave site.

Research subjects are also available upstream to Master’s students (notably in Performance Arts and Media, and have already given rise to two dissertations, including one on using drama in a school for children with Downs Syndrome). The Art and Health programme is thus a link in a chain that runs from the first years of training to research in a hospital setting. Exhibitions (notably of work produced in therapeutic arts workshops) will be mounted in direct association with Hôpitaux de Toulouse and the refurbishment of the La Grave site.

The young researchers’ work is presented to an audience interested in academic research, including private sector partners, at the monthly “Arts and Health” seminar.

An international conference on the uses of art and literature for health is scheduled for 2013 or 2014.

In addition to current and forthcoming publications, the work of the centre’s researchers is the subject of regular workshops with the various partners involved in the project (CHU, STARS endowment fund, Communauté Urbaine du Grand Toulouse, etc.).

Most recent co-authored publication: “Mâcher ses mots...”, V. Roma, J.-L. Sudres, A. Rykner, F. Galinon, R. Bernadet, in Santé mentale, no.154, “Théâtre et psychiatrie”, January 2011, pp 34-37.

This programme is part of the CRISO academic development platform.



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