DigitalHealthEdu: Digital technologies for healthy lifestyles?
This project focuses on digital health promotion, understood as those messages and initiatives that encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles (physical activity, diet, psychological well-being, etc.) through digital technologies (websites, apps, social networks, or self-monitoring devices). The main hypothesis is that these digital technologies play a fundamental pedagogical role in how young people learn about and understand their bodies, health, fitness and well-being. Specifically, they promote normative gendered body ideals and norms, neoliberal notions of the self and discourses of health consumption, which generate risks and inequalities. In addition, it is worrying that these public or informal pedagogies often come into tension with the health-related learnings provided by formal education.
The final goal of this project responds to the urgent need to understand and address how school education could help young people to successfully navigate through this complex landscape of digital health promotion. To this end, the purpose of this project will be to co-develop with young people innovative and critical pedagogical ideas about digital health technologies in schools, informed by a deep understanding of the meanings, contexts and social factors that shape Spanish young peoples relation with digital health promotion.
The project has three objectives:
1) To co-research with young people of diverse social profiles about the role of digital technologies for healthy lifestyles on their lives, exploring the impact over their health, health behaviours and identities as well as the affects, relations and learnings that emerge;
2) To co-create with young people critical digital health pedagogies aimed at challenging normative meanings and affects on health, health behaviours and identities;
3) To design an educational proposal aimed at the critical digital health education of young people.
The research design will be participatory, multi-method, iterative and multi-site, with the development of fieldwork in two Autonomous Communities, selected by their different socio-demographic characteristics: Madrid (urban) and Galicia (rural). It will consist of the following Research Stages:
1) Survey of a representative sample of young people to map their uses of these technologies;
2) Digital diaries, as participatory visual methods to delve into the meanings and impact of these technologies;
3) Co-creation workshops through participatory creative methodologies for the development of critical digital health pedagogies.
Additionally, a transversal stage of Participatory Action Research will be developed with young people who will collaborate closely with the research team. This project involves the design of an audiovisual educational proposal aimed at critical education on digital health promotion. The project plans to have an impact on young people and educational agents, as well as policy makers in the areas of Education and Health Promotion.
We have a date with art
The pilot program "Tenemos cita con el Arte", made by art educators from the Complutense University with people affected with Alzheimer and other dementias and their caregivers. In this program the organisers have developed a series of visits to the Prado Museum and the National Museum Art Center Reina Sofía as well as workshops of artistic creation related to these visits. The aim of this project is to create some protocols of visits and workshops that can work as reference to artists, educators and other professionals.
Graphic recordings for well-being and community health
A graphic recording is an image used to represent and/or analyse phenomena or events. They are produced from the representation of subjectivities, meetings, and interactions of collective action, aiming to reflect on contextualised flows and synergies. Through the Madrid Salud (2021) project Art and Health, graphic recordings have been developed after three online meetings: 1) the “Broken Hugs” project, 2) the World Mental Health Day meeting, and 3) the “Building Compassionate Communities” meeting. Graphic recordings in this context can reinforce a sense of community and make bonds between participants visible, especially since the pandemic forced the transfer of most meetings from in-person to online mode.
This project aims to expand on the key concepts presented in previous studies on this subject, analysing how these visual strategies expand their potential for a post-COVID art mediation, and identifying broadened characteristics in our remotely created productions that expand the graphic recordings possibilities in an artistic mediation and community health context.
Art as a resource for health and well-being: Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition at the Museo Nacional del Prado
A project about art and health developed from the temporary exposition of Cai Guo-Qiang at the National Museum of Prado (2017). The program consisted of a development of a visit to the National Museum of Prado, and also artistic creation workshops at the Municipal Communitarian Health Center. The objective was to improve the health and generate psychosocial wellbeing with a group of women enabling their participation and implication in the cultural life of the city of Madrid. 15 users with an average age of 57 years participated in the development of the interventions. They belonged to two Municipal Communitarian Health Centers: Usera and Villa de Vallecas.
ReiaManí Universe, an art workshop for young adolescents in vulnerable situations
Within the “Madrid, a Healthy City” (Madrid Salud) strategy, the “ReiaManí Universe” is developed, an artistic mediation initiative that was born thanks to the Art and Health scholarship together with the Socio-educational and Pre-employment Support Program for Adolescents (ASPA). Artistic-educational workshops are carried out with young people at a social disadvantage, with difficulties managing their emotions and establishing relationships with equals. These creative workshops promote skills for cohesion and social support as protective factors against unwanted loneliness and psychological suffering. Their main objective is to build an emotionally safe environment through art-health relationships and their own imaginative and self-finding processes. These workshops have been based on the creation of playful and artistic materials for the participants, thus working on aspects of community health and well-being through comics, stickers, action figures, and board games. The methodology is proposed from an action-research perspective, with flexible planning to adapt to collective needs, concluding that the collective construction of the “ReiaManí Universe” has fostered group coexistence and the development of social, emotional, and creative skills.
Group singing for maternal mental health
This project was implemented by Cluj Cultural Centre in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in partnership with the World Health Organisation and University College London.
The goal of this pilot project was to explore to what extent Music and Motherhood, a clinically effective group singing intervention for new mums in the UK, had to be adapted to meet local needs, thus investigating the feasibility of implementation and its impact on the mental health and well-being of participants in Romania and Denmark.
Group singing for maternal mental health aims to help alleviate depression symptoms, supporting participants in transforming negative emotions and negative self-perception, to experience positive emotions, support cathartic release, gather peer support, and reinforce mother-infant bonding. Mothers attend these sessions together with their babies and get to share experiences and receive support from the group, sing, and engage in simple music-making activities under the facilitation of a music lead.
In Cluj-Napoca, the research project involved two groups. Two singing groups were organised, one for Romanian-speaking mothers and another one for Hungarian-speaking mothers. In total,15 new Romanian and Hungarian-speaking mothers experiencing postpartum depression symptoms participated in a 10-week group singing intervention facilitated by professional singing leaders. In Denmark….?
The pilot involved a complex preparation, including a detailed design of the intervention and evaluation protocol; an ethical validation of the research protocol by the Babeș-Bolyai University and the WHO IRB/ethics committees; a process of consultation on the project design with public health experts, artists, psychologists and mothers who have previously experienced PPD; and conversations and cooperation meetings with a number of local stakeholders such as representatives of general physicians, private and public health institutions, psychology and mental health associations, cultural organisations, media, parents’ groups, and other interested parts.
The museum through the window
"The Museum Through the Window" is an initiative organized by the Pedagogical Museum of Children's Art (MuPAI) at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Complutense University of Madrid, dedicated to the study of art in childhood (made by children). This project was made with the aim of improving the quality of life for children and teenagers through a series of artistic proposals to be carried out at home, serving as both the conceptual and physical starting point. The activities were mediated remotely by the museum's team of educators during the months of May, June, and July 2020, in response to the (de)confinement situation due to COVID-19.
The main objective of this study has been to evaluate the capacity of contemporary artistic practices as a tool to promote the well-being of children and young people at home. Likewise, the development and design of this educational program have allowed us to analyze the possibilities and implications of adapting our pedagogical proposals to the context of distance art education.
The methodology used for the research is identified as analytical-synthetic, carefully studying each practice carried out and finally examining its different processes holistically. This methodology consisted of designing artistic and educational proposals based on the work of contemporary artists (e.g., Guerrilla Girls, Colektivof, Los Torreznos, etc.) that could be developed in the participants’ homes, becoming their experimental space.
The activities took place through weekly one-hour meetings, where the educators introduced the participants to the work of the artists through the visualization of explanatory videos, proposing specific challenges to be developed. Thanks to remote support, certain specific activities were carried out, while the rest of the proposals were autonomously developed in their homes. In the following meetings, the results and conclusions were shared in order to weave a network of knowledge through shared artistic experiences.
Through observations of the educators, the results of proposals, and evaluations provided by the participants, it is noteworthy that the implementation of these activities in homes had a positive effect on the well-being of the participants, demonstrating great enjoyment and enthusiasm.
After reviewing the various adaptations made during the process, we can conclude that the parameters of redesign, support, guidance, and assistance have been fundamental both for the formalization and the development of the activities. These aspects were embodied in the figure of the mediators, who were completely essential for the execution of the proposals. Together with the participation of families, a context of intergenerational, plural, and enriching exchange and care was established for all parties. Undoubtedly, this project has opened the possibility of a future line of research on the possibilities of these proposals in the field of non-formal education.
Culture & Health
The project Culture and Health, presented in March 2020, aims to value artistic and cultural practices and projects whose goal is to improve the physical and mental well-being of people and communities. Moreover, the project:
-facilitates the use of the Arts and Culture as tools for promoting health and preventing illness, as supports for treatment trajectories and relationships
-promotes and supports the spread of Culture and Health for knowledge, research, and specialized training; the development of projects and good practices by sharing existing opportunities and generating favorable new conditions
-stimulates dialogue and cooperation between the sectors of culture, social assistance, and health care with a view to enhancing social quality and sustainable development.
Amongst its many developed projects, Culture & Health launched the First Swiss Forum on the subject in 2021, which will be followed by biennial encounters. Since 2021 the project has also developed a yearly academic course in Culture and Health in collaboration with the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of USI. Lastly, Culture and Health has developed a Fund in support of partnership projects involving artists and healthcare structures in order to develop cultural activities that take place at sites where healthcare is provided.
Additional information on the project is available on our site, which also contains a number of selected best practices carried out over the last 10 years.
The culture of agreement in dementia care
The culture of agreement wishes to inspire and provide concrete tools so that people experiencing dementia can find in carers/caregivers the reality of true and equal encounters between human beings. Concretely, they use the tools of theatre pedagogy and conscious breathing knowledge: through the exercises actors use to prepare and get to know each other to activate the dreams of the audience,they co-construct carers' self-knowledge. Why? Because people with dementia are experts in emotion and relationship, but they no longer know how to use it consciously. As Ploton says, 'as they are no longer interlocutors, they become inter-actors', i.e. they stage with their body and behaviour what they want, or need, but without being able to choose or regulate its manifestation and intensity.
Belonging in Aarhus
An online platform featuring video's and written stories about internationals in Aarhus and how they try and find a sense of belonging and home through participation in the cultural landscape of Aarhus.
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