Credit: Eric McClain/Unsplash
On the occasion of the 2021 Virtual Forum of the French Canadian Cultural Federation (FCCF), Quebec cultural journalist, author and director Emilie Perrault put forward the idea of art being an essential component of mental health, even when speaking “cultural health.”
Whether at the scholastic, societal, political or economic level, Emilie Perrault calls for greater reflection on the place of art in a post-pandemic society.
On the occasion of the forum, the article writer Doing Useful Work: When Art Makes Life And Basic service: How to take care of your cultural health He gave his conference “Doing Useful Work: When Art Fixes Life”.
“I think Ms. Perrault’s words resonate with Canadian Francophones […] These are fairly universal topics that have touched upon realities in the field, both artists and cultural workers in Francophonie Canada,” explains Marie-Christine Morin, Director of the FCCF.
“Sound mind” through culture
Emilie Perrault is a cultural journalist, author, and director.
Credit: Screenshot from Francopress
“Art makes us feel good, and it can fix us sometimes. In our lives, when there is nothing else and we need a float, it is often art that will help us. It will fall upon us a bit by chance, there is synchronicity,” the speaker said.
Culture journalist Emily Perrault has, for a decade, wanted to explore this avenue and see if it can be shown that arts and culture are essential to good physical and mental health. Thus was born his second article.
In this article, this is why and how it works […] It is important that you come and look for data that proves this [que l’art nous fait du bien] And I realized that many studies are available,” especially a Transfer By the World Health Organization (WHO) published in 2019 under the title What is the evidence for the arts’ role in improving health and well-being? Exploratory study.
We all know the phrase “having a healthy mind in a healthy body.” […], follows Emily Perrault, but how do you keep a sound mind? How do you grow it? I think a lot through our consumption of culture. “
The artist’s role is to put his sensibility at the service of the story. Then, when we listen to it, it allows us to live in fast motion, come up with some feelings and tell ourselves that we are not alone. […] It is good to be validated, to know that there is an artist who has put all his intelligence, all his passion at our service,” adds the cultural journalist.
Cultural health and social calm
In the eyes of Emilie Perrault, one of the first steps in the democratization of culture is to become a larger part of everyday life, i.e. to “take culture out of the Ministry of Culture”. Whether it’s economics, education, family or politics” the question [de la santé culturelle] It matters to everyone and has beneficial effects for everyone,” she assures us.
The author believes that from the moment we truly realize the benefits of art, we can decide to “make room for it every day, to have healthy habits of cultural life and to tell ourselves that reading is not only during the holidays.” […] It is really about changing the way we perceive culture in our daily lives. “
South Korea example
Emilie Perrault highlights the importance of reading in her life. She also stressed the importance of primary and secondary school children attending performances in cultural centers. “I think in the public course we should make more space for the arts, not just reserve it for people who have chosen the artistic option,” she defends.
Other ideas emerged from the participants’ questions, including the idea of an “artistic strike” to educate the community about its importance. He also encouraged the speaker to follow in the footsteps of South Korea, which pays 500 million dollars every year The Ministry of Culture to stimulate the export of cultural products.
“We saw how impactful it was: they won the Academy Award for Best Picture for a Korean movie [Parasite, qui a également remporté trois autres Oscars]. did not fall from the sky […] There are measures the government can take. That’s a lot of economic benefits,” says Emily Perrault, adding that it takes patience for these measures to pay off.
Ultimately, the cultural journalist is showing “a lot of hope” in the post-pandemic standing of arts and culture and hopes to see “in-depth reflections” on the topic of cultural health.
What is “cultural health”?
Émile Perrault is based on the definition of the French author and psychologist Sophie Marinopoulos : “Cultural health opens up self-knowledge and recognition of others. It allows each person to build their own identity and engage with others. Cultural health is the carrier of personal appeasement and social pacification.”
The journalist comments: “I find that great idea […] Social pacification is when we meet in the theater with everyone, live this moment together and are in company in a certain way at the end. […] My final appeal is to say, “I need this because I need something bigger, the search for meaning in my life.” Social pacification, to me, goes through a lot with this. “
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