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SLaM photography project takes a creative approach

11.07.13 Categories: Art and mental health, How donations help

The SELPh community photography project helps people with recent experience of mental illness to express themselves through creativity.

It was set up by PhD student Billy Gazard who himself studied art at the London College of Communication. 

“Although I am now studying social science I am still very much interested in the creativity and storytelling of photography. I think that photographic images can be very empowering tools for people to tell their stories and raise awareness of issues that are important to them.”

As part of his work with the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON), Billy has spoken to many people in the local community who have experienced some form of mental illness.

“Many of them have told me that they were not happy with the stigma that is often attached to experiencing mental illness,” he says.

“I thought that setting up a group, where people who were currently experiencing mental illness could talk about their experiences through photography, could be both therapeutic and empowering.”

None of the members have a professional photography background, and all the pictures are taken with the same compact camera. Take a look at the gallery below for a selection of recent images taken by the group, in and around south-east London.

The voluntary group is funded by Maudsley Charity and has held exhibitions in Peckham and Brixton. Follow SELPh on Facebook and Twitter for updates on their next event. 


This project was made possible by the generous donations of SLaM supporters. If you would like to make sure that projects like this keep running, please donate to SLaM today.