History

 

The association “Prostor” was founded by Mina Aleksić and Marija Kućan in 2009. The beginning of our work is associated with psychiatric care users from Specialized psychiatric hospital “Dr Slavoljub Bakalović” in Vršac. After the invitation from prim. dr sci Anđelka Kolarević, who was chief of ward E9 at the time, artists Mina Aleksić and Marija Kućan started to organize art workshops with hospitalized psychiatric care users within the institution’s facilities that were being used for work therapy.

After one year of experience with psychiatric care users within this institution, Mina Aleksić and Marija Kućan realize that there are very few programs which address persons with mental health difficulties. Given the fact that our society is poorly informed and that general public and media hold a lot of prejudices regarding the psychiatric care users, we in “Prostor” have decided to dedicate our work only to this population.

That was also the beginning of the project “ReMind” which was carried out during the following four years in psychiatric institutions in Belgrade (Psychiatric clinic of KCS) and Vršac (SPB “Dr Slavoljub Bakalović”), and also outside of institutions, with members of associations “Duša” and “Videa”.

In 2011 artists Milorad Mladenović i Radoš Antonijević have designed the Little gallery and an archive in work therapy facilities of psychiatric hospital in Vršac.

“ReMind” was supported by: Foundation “Trag”, Cooperating Netherlands Foundation for Central and Eastern Europe (CNF/CEE), and Ministry of culture of Republic of Serbia.

According to official data of the Foundation “Trag”, “ReMind” is the third project in Serbia that they have supported in the last five years, aimed to help this vulnerable group, and it is the first one in Belgrade. “Prostor” was one of the finalists in Erste Foundation Social Integration Award in 2013.

Currently “Prostor” is implementing projects supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy (“ReMind Community”), Erste bank (“Economic strengthening of psychiatric care users”) and Ministry of culture (“Art/psychiatry”). In the project “Recovery in the community – supporting the recovery of persons with mental difficulties and their complete inclusion into the community”, financed by European Union and association IAN as our partner.

Under the coordination of the association “Prostor” the program named “The voice of us in ether”, designed and led by the persons with mental health difficulties, has started broadcasting on Radio Belgrade 202. A psychotherapeutic group also started to function.

This year, “Prostor” has become partners with the organization Intervoice, and Hearing Voices Network, and became a Serbian representative within West Balkan Hearing Voices Network.

Thanks to the Municipality of Zvezdara, “Prostor” is currently organizing their regular activities in the facilities of Local community “Ćirilo i Metodije”.

 

Number of our users

2010: There were 52 persons hospitalized in SPB Vršac who attended workshops arranged by “Prostor”. 37 of them were in the ward for acute psychotic disorders, psychiatric disorders and female alcoholics, and 15 were in substance abuse ward.

2011: Within the realization of the program “ReMind 01” in the Day center of the Psychiatric clinic there were 42 users of this institution involved, and within the “ReMind 02” there were 23 hospitalized users of SPB Vršac involved.

2012: “ReMind 03” was on for eight months in Psychiatric clinic; involved were 47 hospitalized users of the infirmary of Psychiatric clinic and 32 psychiatric care users of the day center within this institution.

“ReMind 04” was held in SPB Vršac, there were 18 users involved.

In our collaboration with associations “Videa” and “Duša” 22 users were involved.

2013: Within the project “Encounters” and cooperation with the Municipality of Zvezdara there were 25 members of associations “Duša” and “Videa” involved in workshops held in the facilities of the Local community “Ćirilo i Metodije”.

In workshops held in SPB Vršac there were 11 users involved.

2014: We carried out the project “Every soul matters” CEIR with 16 users of Clinic “Laza Lazarević” in Padinska Skela.

Also, we carried out the project “ReMind Community” in Local community “Ćirilo i Metodije” with 27 members of associations Duša and Videa, 13 users of SPB Vršac, and four users of Psychiatric clinic.