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State of Mind: Between Dysphoria and Hope in Crisis

‘Health is defined as mental and physical well being’, by the World Health Organisation(WHO). However, we rarely acknowledge the prior.

Amidst dealing with a major health crisis, we forget what encompasses health. The individual is exhausted by efforts taken attempting to make sense of the global crisis and by their daily tasks while consistently resisting stifling systems. They are left struggling with dysphoria: a state of feeling uneasy, unwell or unhappy. This disconnect from self, society, the physical space they are inhabiting has gradually become discernible over the last eight months. Art is reflective of the individual’s state, especially in chaotic times flitting between disarray and hope.

In an era of political turmoil, strife with systemic issues, economic crisis and physical distancing let us situate the state of the individual in a pandemic through art. Covid-19 affected our social fabric entirely, including art’s pivot to a largely digital space, its production and consumption. Here is an attempt to look at a part of our condition through art produced by 7 Indian artists (Ankit Ravani, Chetnaa, Nidhi Khurana, Pallavi Paul, Pavan Kavitkar, Salik Ansari and Sameer Kulavoor) in times of disorder. Across three sections, ‘State of Mind: Between Dysphoria and Hope in Crisis’ looks at our perception of self, our functioning in relationship to the spaces we inhabit and our resilience.

- Sayali Mundye

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