Making Space for Mental Health

 Artwork by Candy Chang. Photo by Luna Park.

Artwork by Candy Chang. Photo by Luna Park.

As we've said from the start (not that we were the first to say it), advertising is bad for your health, particularly mental health. We would love to see public spaces without advertising, to stop the harm. This week Candy Chang takes us one step further.

She told us:

"You can tell a lot about a city by its public spaces. Our sidewalks, squares, parks, and civic structures are for everyone, yet take a quick look at the public messages on display and it may seem like we only care about sexy beers and fruity shampoos. I'm happy to be a part of Art in Ad Places because public messaging should not just be reserved for the highest bidder, it should reflect what we value as human beings.

"Among the many aspects that determine our overall health, mental health is often neglected and taboo to discuss. I’ve been interested in presenting responses from the Before I Die project back into public. This response came from the Before I Die wall in Downtown Brooklyn and it always hits me where it matters. Our public spaces can play a profound role in our well-being and kinship if we give it the space it deserves."

What if every pay phone was turned into a Before I Die wall? We'd probably be having a lot more conversations about mental health, and a lot more people feeling empowered to act on their dreams. What if we turned pay phones into scribble walls? We'd probably have more artists and a generally more creative society. In either case, we'd learn something about our neighbors. Whatever the exact form, let's turn these spaces over to the public. Let's get rid of the beer ads and make space for something that actually matters.

 Artwork by Candy Chang. Photo by Luna Park.

Artwork by Candy Chang. Photo by Luna Park.