a subjective research on depression
The Hidden Face is an interactive documentary on depression, as seen and hidden in Bucharest, 2016.
The documentary presents the confessions of 15 persons, of different age and sex from Bucharest, arisen as consequence of an organizing and selection process of a video archive including around 80 hours. Another criterion for the selection process has also been the consent of the interviewed to assume their identity and to make their stories public. It’s worth mentioning that the number of the women having agreed to participate to this documentary was higher than of men, in the same extent as the initial opening to be interviewed.
As consequence of the research, we propose three methods do visualize the documentary. First, there were the People, each of them, with a profile page including their stories. The Themes group their answers according to the questions pursued during the interviews, cover depression-related important thematic and offer, as well, the short version to pass through the documents. The listed tags resulted from analyzing the content of the selected excerpts, representing recurrent ideas and words used by the interviewed persons. They represent a language of depression, a unitary voice of the majority which we haven’t actually pursued during the documentation process, but which appeared after the content analysis.
The Hidden Face is the result of a research developed along one year and a half, triggered by the personal depression experience of the project initiator, Cinty Ionescu. The video documentation pursued the exploration of personal stories related to depression, dramatized within the multimedia theatre show, Between Two Pills (March 2016). As consequence of this step, a video archive emerged, gathering tens of hours of interviews with persons of different age and sex from Bucharest. This archive triggered the need of a dedicated project, both due to the complexity of confessions, and due to the real need to open a public discussion about such disease.
The absence of national prevention and diagnose programs accompanied by a negative and, quite frequently, erroneous perception on depression prevents its diagnosing and treatment. Or, specialized intervention is fundamental in treating this disease which has a great potential to destroy lives. The Hidden Face presents such realities told by the concerned individuals themselves, gathered in the documentary, role of which is to create a nucleus of discussions on the topic of depression, in order to diminish the social stigma.
“My main motivation during this documentation was the people behind these stories, who chose to speak openly about an intimate topic, often considered taboo. I was asked if it had been difficult to make those people talk, as it assumes lots of courage. I believe, as many of these people I interviewed say, that it was not about the courage, but rather about the normal desire and real need to talk openly on this topic. Because the only weapon in order to fight for the lives of people suffering from depression is awareness, at the level of society, of the realities of such disease. I take a bow in front of them for having told their stories and for having given me the chance to better understand them, myself, our disease and, therefore, for having representing a real and constant help in my recovery process. I am trying, by The Hidden Face, to disseminate information hoping it shall help someone else as well.” (Cinty Ionescu)
The Hidden Face is a cultural project produced within the candidature of Bucharest 2021_Orașul In-Vizibil by the Cultural Projects Centre of Bucharest Municipality – ARCUB and the City Hall of Bucharest.