What is Soul Burgers?
Soul Burgers is an award winning Art House which uses multi media to educate, inform and prompt discussion on mental health issues.
The Art House started life as a book in verse which movingly chronicles a journey from despair to hope. Written by psychotherapist, poet and journalist Christina Reihill, the book tells a stunning story of hope based on ancient teachings of mental health. “There are ancient universal maps to well being and I wanted to translate them for todays pilgrims” says Reihill
“So when I’d completed my simple text version of these teachings, I wanted to provide an accessible map for those in emotional crises. I wanted a book that showed a reader a way through crises not told/lectured a way through” The result ten years later, was SoulBurgers book (first edition) where the reader takes the journey with the poet of her story. The book is a visceral experience for readers and like all SoulBurgers art projects – the narrative is interactive. “To live from the mind of our hearts is the ultimate human experience and to reach this place of peace and joy we need to recognise that we are relational” says Reihilll.
The book went on to win critical acclaim and the prestigious Allianz/Tile Style Business to Arts Award. Its odyssey in verse has also been adapted for stage, music performances, urban art projects and the first Pop-up poetry shop in the world. Last year’s Urban Art Project for Blackrock Baths was sponsored by Dulux. The second edition of the book was sponsored by Rutland Centre at IMMA ( Irish Museum Of Modern Art). This Christmas SoulBurgers will launch The Present – its second interactive art project at Monkstown Crypt in Dublin where it will be opened by Mary Mitchell O Connor TD on December 10th for 18 days. ( volunteers required please!)
All proceeds/awards for SoulBurgers work funds its “let’s Talk” education programme which is under development. This work uses digital media/film to expand the emotional language of teenagers around issues of sexual identity, belonging, addiction, suicide, on- line personas” It’s not that teenagers wont talk or tell us what’s going on – they don’t have the language to articulate what’s going on for them” says Christina ( more on her view on the journalism tab). The education programme will consist of a DVD of a box office hit/ a handbook for teachers/mentors and a copy of Soul Burgers for its “songs” to freedom.
Below news of the Pop Up Poetry shop as featured in The Sunday Times.
Soul Burgers has many to thank for its success apart from its dedicated team of artists but its newest noisy gratitude goes to Psychotherapist Barbara Fitzgerald, founder and former Chairperson of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy and current member of the Governing Board of the European Association for Psychotherapy. Her contribution and profound understanding of psychic maps,new and old is invaluable.
“The Digital Interactive schools/college programme and its use of popular film to prompt questions and expand the language and vocabulary of emotions for young adults is a very strong teaching tool to contain young adults emotions” she says. ” This age group don’t want to be told how they feel – they want to use their own language to tell the world what they feel”
Action Not Words..
”We need to meet teenagers in their world and invite them to join reality with a language that they’re comfortable using or the lines of communication will continue to break down and teenage suicide figures will continue to climb. SoulBurgers “Let’s Talk” Education programme shows young adults that they’re serious about wanting to understand them but that they need teenagers to meet them half way- this project, when it’s completed and offered to government for its support- will do this”