The 2nd Happiness Camp aims to bring together 6,000 people of 12 nationalities at Alfândega do Porto to promote happiness in all its aspects. Through promotional activities to be held in the Bolhão Market in the days leading up to the event, participants will be given the chance to visit the Soares dos Reis National Museum, at the particular moment when the current temporary exhibition Portreto de La Animo Art Brut Etc. is being held.
Organised by the Lionesa Business Hub, Happiness Camp is the largest conference dedicated to corporate happiness in Europe. Companies, professionals, students, holidaymakers or anyone with an interest in the subject come together to share knowledge and best practices, raise awareness and create a supportive community.
The Happiness Camp will present in Porto the “Dopamine Hub”, a sensory journey of artistic interventions that aims to stimulate the production of dopamine in the participants. The concept is new in Portugal, but popular in cities like London or New York.
The role of museums in Mental Health
Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that, by 2030, depression is expected to become the most common disease in the world, affecting more people than any other health problem.
The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health and the extent of the current psychological suffering of the Portuguese are translated into worrying values. According to information provided by the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Portugal is the country with the second highest prevalence of psychiatric illness in Europe.
Raising awareness of the growing problem, alerting and raising awareness of the need to extend the debate on mental illness to the public sphere, connecting the scientific community and citizens, is a pressing need that calls across all sectors of society, including museums.
It is in this context that the Soares dos Reis National Museum has been carrying out several actions within the “Art & Health” programmatic axis.
The “Portreto de la Animo” exhibition and parallel activities are the focus of this program in 2023, continuing with a cultural offer aimed at minimizing the impact of the disease, increasing self-confidence and well-being, enabling the construction of a safe environment, alleviating the suffering and reducing the anguish of the people who participate in them.
The exhibition “Portreto de la Animo” includes selected pieces from the Treger Saint Silvestre Collection that relate to processes of self-representation and that were produced, mostly, in contexts of illness. The Soares dos Reis National Museum is thus able to bring together these works of art, inscribed in currents that go beyond the traditional ones, with others from its own collection.
The aim is to encourage contemplation, empathy and strengthen the emotional bond between the public and the compositions on display. It’s about creating an experience of enjoyment, but essentially of awareness of the person’s inner world and its expressions.