Art and Hypnotherapy


“Who is the real me?” is one of the most persistent questions in human history. It is a question that obviously has no simple answer. Still, we know that from the day we are born that we are influenced by the outside world. We are shaped by our experiences of the natural and technological environment. But maybe more importantly, we are influenced by parents, teachers, siblings, friends, colleagues, the media, social media, politics, economic reality and artistic influences.

As our society gradually becomes more complex, the external pressure on each individual becomes stronger, it therefore becomes increasingly important to know who we are. At the same time it is not simple for each individual to formulate his/her life goals without influence of the above named external forces. It is harder than ever to distinguish our own wishes from those that are imposed on us by social and commercial interests.

Each individual human being struggles on his/her journey through life to make the most of the potential that he/she has. Not knowing who we are and where we belong can stop us from contributing to our loved ones’ lives and to society in general. In order to make this search easier, humanity has developed innumerable techniques to navigate through our inner lives: religious beliefs, psychoanalysis and self-help

Art is one of the oldest and most versatile tools for inner navigation and hypnotherapy is one of the most recent ones to be developed. In this project, artists, curators and hypnotherapists from Sweden and Egypt join forces to investigate what can be learned from bringing hypnotherapy and art together. The project asks:

- Can art and hypnotherapy together help us to be stronger in the formulation of our own identity today?

A group of artists in will try hypnotherapy over a period of time. This will happen during workshops in Stockholm and Cairo. It allows each artist for serious and deep introspection to find his/her true wishes, desires aspirations. The artists’ experiences will then be used to create new individual (or collective) artworks. Each artist is free to find his/her own expression, which can include drawing, painting, photography, video or even performance. The participants will also meet in online (Zoom/Skype etc.) and work so that they can share their experiences and learn from each other. (This will also allow the Swedish artists to follow the workshop in Egypt at a distance and the Egyptian artists to participate at a distance in the events in Sweden.) The work will be lead by a greatly experienced hypnotherapist Christina Abla and her colleagues at the Baraka Institute in Cairo.

Artistic Outcomes
The project will lead to creation of new artwork that documents the process and experiences of the project. These will also be shown in exhibitions in Sweden (AllArtNow) and Egypt (Out of the Circle). The exhibitions will include documentation of the working process and artworks that have been created by the participating artists that reflect on their experiences with hypnotherapy and how it has affected their outlook on their lives and art. The process will also lead to a deeper understanding of both Egyptian and Swedish cultures as well as how the two interact. It will also generate understanding about how art is understood and produced in the two cultures.

Scientific Outcomes
The project will create a better understanding about how art can influence hypnotherapy as well as how hypnotherapy can influence art. It develops a deeper understanding how social forces influences the art making process and how artists can gain a better understanding of their own inner desires, both private and professional. The process will also lead to a deeper understanding of both Middle Eastern and Nordic cultures as well as how the two interact. It will also generate understanding about how knowledge is understood, maintained and developed in the two cultures.