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Image credit: Ebru Art by Raimond Klavins, Flickr Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How can art and art-based approaches empower and improve the health and wellbeing of underserved and marginalised populations?

In this webinar, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach to examine how arts-based approaches can empower individuals and improve health and wellbeing. The goal of this discussion is to bring to light the value that arts-based approaches bring to health, in ways that compliment or even improve upon strictly biomedical approaches.

Our international panel of speakers will discuss how arts and health come together to empower refugees and asylum seekers, individuals with HIV and young people.


Bobby Lloyd is a visual artist, HCPC registered art therapist, supervisor, writer, researcher, educator and CEO of Art Refuge . She has worked over many years in NHS and community settings, and internationally in contexts of conflict and social upheaval, alongside her ongoing practice as an artist. She has become increasingly interested in the roles of art and art therapy in relation to displacement, crisis support, co-production, imagination and social justice. 


Sharifa Abdulla is a Malawian scholar and participatory Arts practitioner holding a lecturer position with the University of Malawi in the Department of Fine and performing Arts. She holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow, focusing on Culture, Community Arts and Health. Through  working with Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Sharifa focuses on exploring the design and development of Participatory Folk Arts for health research and promotion. She has been designing, developing and leading implementation of participatory health related programs with rural communities including co-founding the Art and Global Health Center Africa. She is also a founding member of the Malawi Medical Humanities Network.


Dr Felipe Siston is a Postdoctoral Research Associate, jointly affiliated to the University of Brasilia and Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), Brazil. At Brasilia he works for "Engajadamente", an interdisciplinary project in partnership with the University of Oxford that aims to empower adolescents for mental health action through a co-designed chat-game tool. At FGV he works for "Cultural Strategies", a project in partnership with Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and Queen Mary University of London, which focuses on the relationships between culture and non-territorial mental health in Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro.

Dr Siston is a Journalist with a PhD in Communication and Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, a Master's in International Relations, and a Specialisation in Mental Health and Psychosocial Care. Throughout his professional career, Dr Siston supported the Center for Public Information of the United Nations in Brazil and other national and international agencies within the UN system. He also worked as a researcher and journalist at the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE) on topics related to the Democratization of the State and the Economy and alternative forms of development. In addition to his research work, Dr Siston is part of the Management Team of "Engenho do Mato Library" (BEM), a community cultural occupation project, and also coordinates the training of young communicators living in the outskirts of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro.

Dr Siston is interested in citizen science, mental health, community empowerment and cultural citizenship, especially in the fields of communication, development and human care.


Claire Zhang is a DPhil student in the Nuffield Department of Population Health (National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit). She is exploring ethnic inequities in infant and paediatric healthcare utilisation in England. Alongside her studies, Claire works as the National Migrant Health Lead in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and is an Honorary Researcher in public health data science and migration health at University College London. Claire's clinical background is in paediatric speech and language therapy.


Image credit: Raimond Klavins, Ebru Art. Flickr Creative Commons. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.