If we all have a ‘right to health’, how do we ensure that right is protected for everybody in society? And how far does that right extend?
Declaration, a groundbreaking festival of ideas at Summerhall in Edinburgh on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 of March, will explore just that.
Declaration – now in its second year – is programmed by the Mental Health Foundation, (creators of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival), with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), NHS Health Scotland, NHS Lothian, and the University of Strathclyde. These organisations have joined forces as part of Scotland’s National Action Plan on Human Rights, for an event that builds on the First Minister’s commitment to ‘do even more even better on incorporating human rights in Scotland’.
Declaration 2017 will launch on Thursday 2 March with an evening reception and discussion event, asking what the role of the welfare state is in protecting our right to health. The event will be based around a screening of I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning film about a joiner from Newcastle who ends up destitute after a heart attack because the benefits system declares him fit to work.
Other Declaration highlights include Helpline, a specially commissioned installation from award-winning theatre-maker Jenna Watt (creator of 2016 Edinburgh Fringe hit Faslane), exploring one of the challenges of exercising our right to health – how difficult it can be to just ask for help. Events led by the People’s Health Movement, Nourish, Scottish Recovery Network and Scottish Care will explore the many different aspects of our right to health, and what we can all do to help ensure that this right is extended to everyone in society. There will also be a screening of Who Cares?, which lifts the lid on a care system that some children’s campaigners say is in desperate need of reform, and an event on the right to health of asylum seekers, led by Amal Azzudin of the Mental Health Foundation.
To close the festival, Glasgow feminist collective TYCI will host their first evening event in Edinburgh, exploring women’s health inequalities through spoken word, animation, music, performance and more, culminating in an epic DJ closing party showdown. TYCI have invited women to respond in their own unique way to the links between the right to health, social protection and between the right to health and inequalities.
Declaration is returning following a successful first festival, at the CCA, Glasgow in March 2016, which featured a programme of film, theatre, music, spoken word, workshops and discussions, covering everything from health inequalities and equal marriage rights to freedom from torture and slavery.
Andrew Eaton-Lewis, Arts Lead for the Mental Health Foundation, said: “This year our focus is on one single idea – that we all have a right to health. We want to explore what that means, how we go about protecting it – as organisations, as a society, and as individuals – and how it can be integrated into the way Government, healthcare systems, and society in general are run.”
Tickets for Declaration are free and are available now. Get all the information here.