Sound Art and the stigma of Suicidal Ideation

This is Sound Art for the promotion of knowledge and understanding of male suicidal ideation amongst the UK populace.  Stigma is characterised by ignorance and fear.  For far too long, male suicide, the suicidal thoughts of men, and the reasons why men may feel suicidal, have been hidden from view.  I was moved by recent articles and statistics to consider how I could use my Sound Art to reduce the stigma that is a known contributor to isolation, which we already know is a factor in suicide.  By sharing their experiences, men who have/ had suicidal thoughts, can improve the public’s knowledge and understanding, reduce the stigma and isolation, and work towards increasing the levels and types of support.

Aims

1) To gather and analyse primary data from UK men who experience suicidal ideation.

2) To review pertinent literature.

3) To inform the creation of music experiments with themes and ideas that emerge from the primary and secondary data.

4) To inform the creation of a CD document of music befitting of site-specific public domain performance that is informed by the evaluation of the music experiments and detailed evaluation of the primary and secondary data.

5) To present this aspect of my Sound Art and incorporate critical feedback into my reflective evaluation of it.

The outcomes of the project has included:

  • Public presentation of the 'Don't Cross the Line' composition in both audio/visual and audio only formats via social media.

  • The creation of 16 vignettes which informed the production of the main composition and generated a number of songs that will be performed live and released as an EP.

  • Installation titled '75%' placed in various locations in Lancashire.

  • A poster was presented and received positively at the 2nd Early Careers Research Forum at the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory in Glasgow on 8-9th June 2017.

  • Gathering of primary research data via an online questionnaire.

Throughout this project, the main challenge has been creating art that is empathetic with suicidal ideation without exacerbating the symptoms or actually supporting the idea. This has required exceptionally subtle acceptance and positivity both in working methods and in the creation of Sound Art.

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