The final conference of the project took place
On the 8th of December 2016 in the City center for Medical Prevention (Italianskaya street, 25) the international conference "Culture and Health. Challenges and Prospects" took place. The second day was devoted to study visits.
The conference was held under the aegis of the 5th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The purpose of the conference was to unite the experience of the Russian and Nordic experts and to present best practices and relevant research in the area of cooperation in the spheres of culture and healthcare. The conference became the final event of the international project "Culture for Health" executed with funding of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The plenary session started with welcoming speech of main partners of the project - Aleksandr Voronko, Deputy Chair of St. Petersburg Committee for Culture, Tatiana Zasukhina, Deputy Chair of Healthcare Committee of St. Petersburg, and Ane Kofod Petersen, representing the Nordic Council of Ministers (Copenhagen, Denmark).
The conference consisted of two thematic blocks. The first of them – "Study of the interaction of culture and health. The experience of the Northern Dimension" was coordinated by Yuri Petrov, the chief spesialist of Department for Cooperation with Russian and Foreign organizations of Healthcare Committee of St. Petersburg, who also made a report on the Importance of culture in the implementation of the human right to health. The second block "Implementation of innovative practices in the social sphere" was held by Olga Ustinova, Director of SPb State library for the blind and visually impaired, and Irina Kizilova, Deputy Director of SPb Institute for Cultural Programs.
The speakers and visitors of the conference were able to discuss the ideology of humanism in the culture and health, art therapy methods in the work with disabled groups interaction of museums and visitor with special health needs.
In the end of the conference the administration partner presented preliminary results of the study in the framework of the "Culture for health" project and at the end of the conference guests and speakers continued communication informally to put a start to discussion of new projects for cooperation in the sphere of culture and health.
On the second day, December the 9th, the conference participants visited St. Petersburg State Psychiatric Center for Children named after Samuil Mnukhin, SPb State library for the blind and visually impaired and the Museum of Professor A. V. Gnezdilov. The study visits were held within the framework of the conference "Culture and Health. Challenges and prospects" with the aim to present programs of art therapy and inclusive work for specific groups of citizens that are offered there.
At the St. Petersburg State Psychiatric Center for Children named after Samuil Mnukhin the participants learned about the center, got acquainted with its structure and main activities. The staff of the center told the visitors about implementation of projects for rehabilitation and therapy for children executed in conjunction with the museums, presented the methods and techniques of art therapy, cinema therapy, therapy techniques for children with speech disabilities and means and ways of providing psychological support for young patients and their parents, and also learned about the work of the psycho-neurological day rehabilitation hospital with the school of integrated learning.
Another event for experience exchange was organized at the site of the project partner - the state SPb library for the blind and visually impaired where the adaptive exhibition "Dead souls - living images" was arranged in the framework of the V St. Petersburg international cultural forum. This exhibition based on the plot by N. Gogol’s book "Dead souls" is adapted for the blind and visually impaired. It presents interactive objects created for a tactile experience. The creators of the exhibition presented vision of the characters by means of objects that allow to get acquainted with literary work through the sense of touch and hearing and presented Gogol's poetics in the three-dimensional objects. Visitors of the exhibition had the unique opportunity of tactile experience of the grotesque art objects symbolizing the images of Gogol’s landlords. Interactive objects were created by the partner of the library, creative "Bureau ArtTerra. Specialist in Museum design, philologist Oleg Nikolaev gave a tour around the exhibition that was accompanied by audio commentary made in the form fragments of the poem. Carefully selected details helped visitors to imagine the types of Gogol's landlords, which represent some of the features of the national character.
In the Museum of Professor Andrei Gnezdilov guests could see the birth of a tale, and become a part of this tale participants. Dr. Andrei Gnezdilov (is also known as Dr. Balu) is the doctor of medical sciences, professor, a researcher and generator of new methods in psychotherapy: fairy-tale therapy, image therapy, bells ringing therapy, etc. He works with patients suffering from the last stages of cancer. A quarter of a century ago, in a St. Petersburg suburb, he established the first ever hospice in Russia. Since then he has been writing not only scientific works but also fairytales, and he communicates with his patients using puppets. It is Gnezdov’s belief that a patient can still be helped even when he has no chance to survive.
During the visit the Professor showed his work with the method of fairy tale therapy involving puppets. Visitors were able to make their “sailboat journey” to distant shores where fairytales appear, become a part of a tale by choosing a puppet from Andrei Gnezdilov’s vast collection, and tell a little story from the puppet’s name, to look into the alchemist’s mirror and visit the fairy tower.
Photos are available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B62nWQK77_mXbHpSWFltWUFOVGc?usp=sharing