UNSW [Big Anxiety Festival 2019. The Empathy Clinic]
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Big Anxiety Festival -
University of NSW Empathy Clinic

The Big Anxiety - Festival of Arts + Science + People, is an initiative of UNSW in association with the Black Dog Institute, and over 25 partners in the cultural, education and health sectors, bringing together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century.

Underpinned by the research enterprise of UNSW and Black Dog Institute and partner universities, the inaugural festival developed innovative methods for working with communities, supporting individual mental health and recovery, as well as building empathy and connection.

Nelson Meers Foundation is supporting The Empathy Clinic as part of the main exhibition of The Big Anxiety 2019. Focused on the festival's core theme of empathy/stigma, The Empathy Clinic is inspired by artists investigating their own and others' experiences of stigma and oppressive circumstances. It features work by leading national/international artists - including newly commissioned virtual reality artworks, presenting a first-person, embodied perspective of challenging lived experience - set within an immersive environment, uniquely designed to challenge assumptions about what art does, and how perspective sharing really affects us.

Why did we fund this project? We support projects that utilise the arts to promote individual well being and community tolerance. The art created for The Big Anxiety Festival is a powerful means of promoting empathy, and changing attitudes toward mental health, principally because it enables 'perspective sharing' and emotional insight rather than presenting information in a didactic form.

The Big Anxiety Festival 2019 will be held from 27 September – 9 November 2019. For further information and the full program, click here or visit https://www.thebiganxiety.org/