The Human Burden – University of Copenhagen

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22 January 2019

The Human Burden

CFS researcher will increase understanding of depression with podcast and theater.

Depression, Self and Society: From First-person to Societal Perspectives

Back in 2017, Postdoc Kristian Moltke Martiny from Center for Subjectivity Research received a research grant from the Lundbeck Foundation. The aim of the grant was to support a further understanding of the societal stigma that people living with depression experience, which includes feelings of (self-)blame, shame and guilt.

Together with The Danish theatre company Stages of Science, Kristian Moltke Martiny aimed to translate the research into two cultural products (a podcast and a theater play) that could communicate the fundamental aspects of living with depression:

The podcast The Black Dog was released on both App-store and Google Play in the fall of 2018. In the interactive podcast-app we follow the main characters Troels and Linnea in their journey to better understand their own experience of depression and their encounters with professionals and experts who help them shed light on the diagnosis. During the seven episodes, the listeners answer an integrated survey, which follow the themes and questions discussed in each episode.

The theater play The Human Burden premiered the 17th of January, 2019, at the The Royal Danish Playhouse. The play seeks to provide insights into depression. Two actors and three performers with first-hand experiences with depression portray the stories and dilemmas of persons suffering from depression. During the performance, the audience is included when they ‘buzz in’ their answers in an ‘attitude and blame’ survey about depression. The results is revealed in a live-feed on stage.

The overall aim of the podcast and theatre play is to use media and the performing arts to disclose the social reality of depression, and thereby work to reduce some of the misunderstandings and stigma that relates to depression.

The research project is supported by Lundbeckfonden, Danish Arts Foundation, The Royal Danish theater og Spar Nord Fonden.

Read more at Det Kongelige Teater (dansk/engelsk): https://kglteater.dk/det-sker/sason-20182019/skuespil/menneskebyrden/?section=top

Read more (in Danish): https://hum.ku.dk/faknyt/2019/januar/hum-forsker-vil-oege-forstaaelsen-for-depression-med-podcast-og-teater/