Arts & health / Medical humanities

Alongside working as a musician, I run projects and programmes at the interface of the arts / humanities and health / medicine. At the moment I am lucky enough to be based at WiSER (the Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research) in Johannesburg supporting a medical humanities programme led by Prof Sarah Nuttall and Dr Nolwazi Mkhwanazi, and helping with a new Medical & Health Humanities Africa network. This is work that brings together disciplines including history, sociology, anthropology, literary studies, philosophy – as well as the arts – with medicine and health.

Other recent examples of projects I’ve managed include…

Blood Sugars: Drama and diabetes in Soweto/Johannesburg 2015—2017

A Wellcome-funded collaboration between Drama for Life and the Health Communication Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto. See the video below for a keynote performance at the International Conference for Culture, Health & Wellbeing in Bristol (June 2017), and our website for more information.


Music in hospital: Johannesburg 2014—

A first for South Africa and a developing collaboration between Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre and the Wits School of Arts’ 4th-year course in Community Music. The project has also helped launch COMMSA (Community of Music Makers South Africa), currently doing brilliant work at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

I have a long history of arts/health project management in the UK, including initiating and managing for 11 years the award-winning arts/health charity rb&hArts at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. Some examples from this time include: Transplant, a collaboration between photographic and sound artists Tim Wainwright and John Wynne based on a two year residency at Harefield Hospital; the Singing for Breathing programme designed for people living with chronic lung diseases; and a series of commissions from Steven Appleby for the new Centre for Sleep at Royal Brompton Hospital in 2012.




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