Syaahi: Ink of Black Fear

It can’t be a coincidence that my birth month, September, is also Suicide Prevention Month and Alopecia Awareness Month, the two causes fueling my social work over the past two years.

For anyone trying to imagine what the mental health traumas of their loved ones may look or feel like, it is an extremely difficult task to understand the intensity of their experience. And especially so, where in a world full of mental health stigma, you may not have engaged with vocabulary and conversations around the topic.

“Syaahi: Ink of Black Fear” is a visualization of what goes on inside the mind of someone experiencing mental illness, or the psychological stresses of any chronic condition, such as alopecia. The supporting dancers swoop in and out like vultures, resembling the pain and disarray of uncontrollable and invasive thoughts.

I spread mental health awareness through dance because certain communities do not have the vocabulary to express or understand what mental health issues are about. Having something visual that depicts specific and relatable emotions can be a good starting point for conversations and removing social stigma.

My hope with this is that we can better understand the idea of invisible illnesses and make space for more comfortable conversations surrounding them within our communities. If you like this concept, I would love for your feedback and a share amongst communities that can benefit from this.

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