To mark International Overdose Awareness Day cohealth worked with the Little Projector Company to shine a light on the stigma and demonisation of drug addiction.
In the lead up to International Overdose Awareness Day 2022 (external webpage), we lit up a Melbourne city laneway with images and artworks created by people who have a lived experience of drug dependence. The exhibition lit up Westwood Place and various other laneways, buildings and footpaths in the Melbourne CBD from 25 – 31 August 2022.
Drug dependence is a complex health and social issue, not a sign of personal or moral failure. The shame and stigma associated with drug use pushes people to the margins of society, creates barriers to seeking help, and means health issues go untreated.
‘Laneway Light – Beyond the Stigma’ enabled people with a lived experience of drug use to express their point of view. The project promoted greater compassion and care for people who are drug dependent and generated conversations about health-based responses to drug use in the community.
People with a lived experience of drug dependence, either current or past, were invited to submit their artwork. People who have loved ones with a lived experience of drug dependence were also invited to submit their artwork.
The artists who contributed artwork ranged in age from 7 years to 65 years. They included people who are:
One thing all the artists had in common is that they have been affected by drug dependence – either directly or indirectly, past or present.
You can now view the exhibition video on our website, and view the gallery of artwork below.
Click on the artwork below so see a full size version, or download the collection of artworks in the Laneway Light – Beyond the Stigma program booklet (PDF 4.7MB).
cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation. We provide essential health and support services in Melbourne’s CBD, and northern and western suburbs.