Mindscapes Berlin (since 2021)
Mindscapes is an international cultural programme that aims to support a transformation in how we understand, address and talk about mental health.
It is supported by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone.
The project facilitates artist residencies in four cities: Berlin, Tokyo, New York and Bangalore. Kader Attia is Berlin’s artist-in-residence, co-curating and producing new works for the major exhibition On Caring, Repairing, and Healing at Berlin’s Gropius Bau (September 2022 till January 2023).
Margareta von Oswald is Mindscapes’ curatorial research fellow in Berlin. In collaboration with different academic and cultural organisations, as well as with community partners, she has set up a range of projects, exploring attitudes towards and definitions of mental health in the city.
Exhibition & Resonance Room: On Caring, Repairing, and Healing
In autumn 2022, the Gropius Bau will host a large-scale exhibition on caring, repairing and healing. Through a mix of installation, painting, audio and an extensive performance programme, On Caring, Repairing, and Healing is a call to action. The aim of this ambitious exhibition is to reflect on our shared experience of care, repair and healing at an individual, community and institutional level.
For the exhibition, Diana Mammana and Margareta von Oswald have developed the Resonance Room. This space invites visitors to pause and reflect, and to take the time to contemplate the questions raised within the exhibition. In the Resonance Room, visitors can experience the outcomes of Mindscapes’ various projects: watching the Urban Investigation, listening to Intimate Connections, exploring the audio walk, reading the transcripts of the Discussion group on mental health, tasting the locally produced Resonance Room tea.
Visual research project: Berlin Urban Investigation
With: Nassim Mehran (Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Jan Stöckel (independent film maker), Franziska Lentes (CARMAH)
The Urban Investigation is an attempt to understand the complex relationship between mental health and structural inequality in Berlin. Using the framing question “What is mental health?”, the Urban Investigation explores how Berliners understand mental health, how they engage with it, and if/how they relate mental health and structural inequalities in the city.
Through conversations with a range of experts in the mental health field, the project considers how historical and contemporary experiences of division, conflict, solidarity and activism shape mental health in Berlin.
Radio programme: Intimate Connections
with Cashmere Radio
Music is a medium that helps foster and enhance desired states of feeling and bodily energy. From one moment to the next, music can make you feel good, uplifted—it soothes pain and deflects bad energies and feelings. This programme is dedicated to engaging with music’s capacity to help us cope.
Community research project: Discussion group mental health
Lea Hartung (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin)
Deiara Kouto (Gropius Bau)
Diana Mammana (Gropius Bau)
Željko Ristič (Outreach Mobile Jugendarbeit Berlin)
Remzi Uyguner (TBB Türkische Bund Berlin-Brandenburg)
Maryna Markova (Yekmal e.V.)
Ulrike Koch (tam Interkulturelles Familienzentrum)
Mary Buteyn (Willkommensgemeinde St. Lukas Kirche der Berliner Stadtmission)
A monthly discussion on mental health in Berlin-Kreuzberg (April-September 2022). Aiming to connect local communities and to exchange and document local knowledge on concepts, practices and challenges of care and healing in the district. Hosted by participating partners at various locations.
Student-led research group / Audio walk: Repair, fractures, divisions. The presents and histories of the Gropius Bau
with Diana Mammana (Gropius Bau), Cashmere Radio
Germany’s regimes of violence in the twentieth century—colonial rule, Nazi and GDR regimes—have left indelible traces on the neighbourhood surrounding the Gropius Bau and the building itself. Today, Kreuzberg’s position as one of Berlin’s urban centres characterises the district. In this research seminar, students will delve into the past and present of the Gropius Bau. Through conversations with historians, activists, contemporary witnesses and communities, as well as archival research, the students will develop audio walks, contributing to the Gropius Bau’s mediation programme.
Urban gardening project: Resonance Room Tea
Diana Mammana (Gropius Bau)
Gülcan Nitsch (Yeşil Çember)
Shani Leiderman (Beba Restaurant)
Throughout the summer, different groups will grow herbs in community gardens to produce the tea for the Resonance Room. We will take care of these plants together, reflecting on the herbs’ impact on our environment and bodies. From September onwards, we will serve the tea in the Resonance Room.
Prof. Dr. Mazda Adli is Director of the Mood Disorders Research Group at the Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, and Chair of the Fliedner Klinik Berlin, Centre for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine.
He has dedicated his research and personal engagement on strategies to overcome treatment-resistant depression and the treatment of bipolar disorder. Another area of interest is the investigation of modulators of individual stress vulnerability. In addition, he has initiated an interdisciplinary Research Group for Neurourbanism that examines the relation between cities and the mental health of their inhabitants. As executive Director, he was among the cofounders of the World Health Summit at Charité – University Medicine Berlin until 2012.
Photo: © Annette Koroll
Kader Attia is the Mindscapes artist in residence in Berlin. He grew up between Algeria and Paris’s banlieue. His works explore the perspective that societies have on their histories – especially regarding experiences of deprivation and suppression, violence and loss, and how this affects the evolution of nations and individuals. As part of Mindscapes, Attia is working on the exhibition ‘On Caring, Repairing, and Healing’ as both a co-curator and participating artist.
Photo: © Nicole Tanzini di Bella
Cashmere Radio is a not-for-profit community experimental radio station which was originally based in Lichtenberg, Berlin for the first six years of its existence before recently moving to Wedding. The ambition of the station is to preserve and further radio and broadcasting practices by playing with the plasticity and malleability of the medium. We do this by both honouring and challenging its inherent qualities: it is both a physical station open to the public and an online radio; it has regular shows, yet opens itself up to extended and one-off events; it features extended generative music performances and installations at the same time as working within radio’s typical durations. In short, it is an attempt to enhance and celebrate the performative, social and informative power of radio that we believe lies within the form itself. The radio can be heard 24 hours a day, seven days a week on our website, and on Friday and Saturdays via 88,4 Berlin and 90,7 Potsdam via the 24/3 Radio Netzwerk, a collaboration between six of Berlin’s independent radio stations — Reboot.FM, BLN.FM, WEAREBORNFREE! EMPOWERMENT RADIO, Savvy Funk, Radiomobil and Cashmere.
Alfred Freeborn is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences Research Group at the MPIWG. Alfred currently investigates changes in how psychiatric research has been evaluated as part of the postwar globalization of biomedicine. Alfred studied for a BA in History at the University of Cambridge, receiving the Cambridge Historical Society Prize for his dissertation on early modern utopian writing. In 2015 he was awarded an Isaac Newton Trust scholarship to complete an MPhil in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science where he worked on diverse areas of research from Enlightenment cartography to twentieth-century social theory.
In 2016 Alfred moved to Berlin to pursue a doctorate at the Chair for the History of Science at the Humboldt University. His doctorate combined recently declassified archival sources from the UK Medical Research Council with oral historical interviews to critically examine the rise of biological psychiatry in postwar Britain. In 2020 Alfred was a visiting scholar at the German Historical Institute in London and a visiting lecturer in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, where he taught courses on the history of the human sciences. He has published on the historiography of the neurosciences and the philosophy of biomarker research in contemporary biomedicine. Currently he is developing his doctoral research into a monograph with the tentative title Biomedical Madness: Schizophrenia and the Making of Biological Psychiatry in Postwar Britain.
Photo: © private
Lee Modupeh Anansi Freeman
Lee Modupeh Anansi Freeman (they/them/sie) is a Berlin-based, Black, transcontinental, Transgender multidisciplinary artist/author/stand-up comedian, event producer, community organizer and critical race/gender/class workshop facilitator and educator. They are an independent member of TGEU and they also work part-time as a carer in a Seniors’ Residence because the working class hustle is VERY real.They often use a mix of poetry, humour and embodied activism to navigate and deconstruct topics such as white supremacy/racism/anti-Blackness, classism, privilege, transphobia and general colonial nonsense.
Additionally, Lee M.A. Freeman is a trauma-aware, body-inclusive somatic healer, yoga teacher and founder of Iroko Yoga. Their classes honor both the African (Kemetic) and the Hatha yoga systems and they center BIPOC and Queer/Trans experiences, narratives and bodies. Iroko Yoga creates and holds space to empower practitioners of all positionalities to fully engage with and to exercise their agency on and off the mat as an act of radical self-acceptance and as a joyful act of community resistance.
In their role as an advisor to the Mindscapes project, they bring an intersectional sensitivity and an outside-the-binary approach to mental health, healing modalities and intentional world building.
Photo: © Popo Fan
Dr. Lea Hartung is the community manager at the Central and Regional Library in Berlin (ZLB). She has a PhD in Cultural Studies. She gained professional experience as online community manager at the radio and TV station Democracy Now! in New York City and as head of a regional cycling lobbying organisation. Her passion is to enhance the qualities of the library as ‘third space’ that is to say as a place of encounter and exchange – as the city’s living room. She believes that libraries are at their best when they empower the communities they serve by facilitating knowledge production in the community.
Together with Dr. Margareta von Oswald and Diana Mammana and others from ZLB and Gropius Bau teams, she has initiated a series of community meetings about mental health in the neighbourhood.
Photo: © Mike Auerbach ZLB
Injonge Karangwa is the Director of Arts and Culture in Global Health Public Engagement at the University of Global Health Equity. She is also initiated and now coordinates multi-disciplinary projects such as artists’ residency in museums reflecting on mental health, a philosophy chair in clinical settings and Hamwe Festival that gathered 31,000 participants in 3 years to reflect on arts, culture and global health. Before joining UGHE, Injonge occupied management positions in global health delivery programs supporting the African government in introducing vaccines, reducing stunting, and increasing access to health services.
Photo: © private
Lara Keuck is a historian and philosopher of medicine. At the MPIWG she leads an independent Max Planck Research Group on “Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences.” Lara graduated in molecular biomedicine at Bonn University with a Diploma thesis in virology at the Robert Koch Institute in 2008. She then participated in a German-French PhD program in History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine at the University Medical Center Mainz and the Philosophy Department of the École normale supérieure in Paris, and completed her dissertation Towards an Epistemology of Medical Classification Systems in 2012. Her research was awarded the 2012 Prize for Philosophy in Psychiatry of the German Association of Psychiatry DGPPN.
In 2012–15, Lara held postdoctoral positions at the MPIWG and at the Institute of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin, where she worked on a project on blurred boundaries, from which grew a book on vagueness in psychiatry. The ETH Zurich awarded her a Branco Weiss Fellowship in 2015, the funding from which was used to establish a junior research group “Learning from Alzheimer’s Disease: A History of Biomedical Models of Mental Illness,” which she led from 2015–21 at the Department of History of HU Berlin. Lara has also been a short-term visiting scholar at Princeton University, University of Exeter, and Université de Bordeaux. In 2020 she was elected to Die Junge Akademie, the young academy of Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Lara has lectured in medicine, philosophy, and history, and has collaborated with scientists and scholars across these fields, in particular on meta-methodological questions and on the uses of history and philosophy in biomedicine.
Photo: © Peter Himsel
Prof. Dr. phil. Dipl. Psych. Ulrike Kluge is a professor for psychological and medical integration and migration research at the Charité in Berlin and head of the department “Migration, Mental and Physical Health and Health Research” at the BIM (Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations- und Migrationsforschung). At Charité, she is in charge of the Intercultural Center for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (ZIPP) as well as the research area Interkulturelle Migrations- und Versorgungsforschung, Sozialpsychiatrie. Ulrike contributed to Mindscapes Berlin by being part of the panel Vulnerabilities and Repair at Gropius Bau (November 2021). She also advised Nassim Mehran and Margareta von Oswald in the development of the Mindscapes Urban Investigation film (2021-2022).
Photo: © Monika Keller
Carl Lange is a student of Musicology and European Ethnology and has been working as a student assistant at the popular music studies department since August 2019. As a addition to his graduate studies in business administration, he gained work experience at music labels such as Honest Jon’s and Tresor Records.
He is also active as a DJ and has been responsible for his radio show Duty Free at Cashmere Radio (24/3FM Radio Netzwerk Berlin, 88.4) since 2015.
His contribution to Mindscapes is the co-creation of the radio program Intimate Connections and the function as a technical advisor in the seminar ‘Reparatur, Brüche, Teilungen. Die Gegenwarten und Geschichten des Gropius Bau‘.
Photo: © private
Franziska Anastasia Lentes
As a student assistant in the Mindscapes project, I support with organisation and research tasks related to the project’s topic around mental health in Berlin. I focus on the Urban Investigation–a research collaboration together with the urban sociologist Nassim Mehran (Charité) and Margareta von Oswald (CARMAH). My work includes interview transcription and the future publication of the research, both in open access and as an online archive. I also assist the CARMAH team in administrational matters, communication and online presence.
I am a graduate student in the internationally oriented MA program Spatial Strategies at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, where we critically deliberate on the vulnerabilities of spaces, especially through migrant and pluricultural perspectives. We reflect on the impact of coloniality and the multiple resistances thereof on spaces of the coloniser and colonised, and how the rhythms of physical and virtual spaces, rural and urban spaces, the local and the global are marked by such sociopolitical realities—in the past and the contemporary. These issues are tackled from artistic, curatorial as well as critical theory perspectives.
I am interested in sonic spaces and forms of embodied memories/archives—listening to voices, sounds/music, oral histories and how storytelling, as well as sonority activate different strategies of refusal and repair, thus creating counter-narratives to hegemonic power structures.
Photo: © Steffen Roth
As a cultural producer, art educator and researcher Diana Mammana critically investigates the role of art in civic life within museum practices.
In her current role at the Gropius Bau she leads and supports the development of community engagement at the department of education. She joined the Mindscapes Community Berlin in 2021 whereas she develops the resonance room together with Margareta von Oswald as part of the exhibition On Caring, Repairing and Healing (2022) at the Gropius Bau Berlin. Diana Mammana received her BA in Cultural Sciences from University of Leipzig in 2016 and her MA in European Ethnology from Humboldt University of Berlin in 2020. She finished her masters degree with a field study on curating as an anti-discriminatory practice.
Over the past years she worked as a cultural producer for cultural organizations, art institutions, museums and project spaces on curatorial practices at the interface of theory and practice, developing and implementing offers for different audiences.
Together with researchers, artists, activists and educators she has led storytelling, media and art-based projects at the Jugend Museum Schöneberg in Berlin, the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U), the Haus der Statistik, the designresearch.lab Berlin (UdK Berlin), the network MuseenQueeren, the Schwules Museum Berlin, the Kulturprojekte Berlin as well as the University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin and the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. In all her projects she is working collaboratively with people across disciplines, experiences and backgrounds to ensure their expertise informs cultural production.
Photo: © private
Dr. Phil. Nassim Mehran is a Berlin-based urban sociologist and architect. She has got several years of professional experience in architectural and urban design. Since 2014 she has been working as a research fellow and lecturer with different institutions, including the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Orient Institut, Beirut, and Columbia Global Center, Amman. Her focus is on spatial justice, urban inequalities, social and psychological ecology of settlement, (mental) care, refuge and migration, and participatory alternatives in a time of crisis and conflicts.
Together with Dr. Margareta von Oswald, they are currently involved in producing a research-based documentary film as part of Mindscapes . The film unfolds the impact of urban inequalities in Berlin on mental health as well as different discourses and modes of solidarities and engagement concerning enhancing mental health in society.
Photo: © private
Danielle Olsen is Wellcome’s Cultural Partnerships Lead. She is a producer, curator, film-maker and writer. Danielle builds and supports international cultural programmes that use the imaginative power of the arts to inspire culturally relevant, community-led and impactful conversations about science that address global health challenges.
She has more than 30 years experience of curating exhibitions, establishing and nurturing artist residencies, creating communities of collective enquiry and forging unlikely alliances around common purpose. Danielle previously studied and taught History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University.
Before leading Mindscapes, Danielle led Wellcome Trust programmes, Contagious Cities (an exploration of epidemic-preparedness in Berlin, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York) and Art in Global Health (6 artist residencies in medical research centres in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and Vietnam).
Photo: © private
Diana Peitz is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in training working as a research assistant in the unit of mental health at Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the national public health institute in Germany. Peitz represents the working group of Mental Health Surveillance (MHS) at RKI, which currently builds up a comprehensive monitoring system of population’s mental health. The MHS is intended to collect, analyse and provide a wide range of data regarding positive mental health, its prevention and promotion as well as mental disorders, their care and recovery on a regular base. This continuous reporting should enable the ongoing evaluation of mental health in Germany and facilitate an informed decision making on political actions regarding population’s mental health.
Photo: © private
Jan Stöckel is an Italian/German documentary filmmaker and visual anthropologist.
After his MA in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths University of London he started working as a freelancer, combining research with film. He works for different companies as a video ethnographer, using the audiovisual as a research tool to depict and understand people’s daily life in different contexts. He worked on several international projects in various fields such as healthcare, design and technology, as well as on social issues such as homelessness and prison.
Jan works on a range of film-making aspects (from research to filming and editing), often as a self-shooting filmmaker. He has directed and filmed short- and medium length observational documentaries like Ancora (2020) and No Island Like Home (2019).
He will be part of the team for Mindscapes’ Urban Investigation around mental health in Berlin as a filmmaker, filming and editing interviews with experts and people involved in the field of mental health in the city. The interviews will be part of a film shown at the exhibition On Caring, Repairing and Healing in Gropius Bau Berlin and part of an online archive.
Photo: © Silvia Rizzi
They play live for dance / theater / performance productions and composes hypnotic sounds for multi-channel installations, virtual reality videos, experimental films, radio art and movement.
Their work have been part of the Biennale for Electro-Acoustic Music, the CTM Transmediale Festival and TanzTage Berlin.
For self-government projects, international organisations and activist groups, they speak at conferences, give lectures and publish books as a co-editor . They have spoken at the UN, at various universities and community spaces in Germany and at conferences in the USA, Turkey, Italy, Austria and France.
Member of INTAR [International Network Towards Alternatives and Right-based Supports] and IDHA [Institute for the Development of Human Arts New York].
Photo: © private