Second part of Seni Kita 2023 in Kuching focuses on mental health awareness

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(From right) Ayleah, Lim, Syed Rusydie, HAUS KCH communications executive Christy Yang, and Ho pose for a group photo during the press conference.

KUCHING (May 18): Themed arts festival, Seni Kita Weekend, will be highlighting mental health awareness in its second instalment for this year.

The ‘Seni Kita Weekend: Mental Health May’ will be launched this Saturday (May 20) at Old Court House Kuching.

The organiser HAUS KCH together with The Inner Lynk, a mental health professional organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, have lined up a range of activities highlighting the importance of mental health awareness and self-care in today’s modern society.

Starting on Saturday, there will be an ‘Acro Yoga’ session facilitated by Maryam Evetovics commencing at 10am, followed by ‘Talk Therapy’ by The Inner Lynk Kuching representative Ayleah Aquino, at 11am.

After that, there will be a ‘Music Therapy’ session, to be conducted by Sandra Cheah from The Inner Link, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

The Inner Lynk will also be managing a ‘Mental Health Screening Booth’ on both days, running from 11am to 6pm daily.

Another programme on Saturday will be ‘Honesty Hour’, to be run by Kuala Lumpur-based company, But Honestly.

Covering two sessions — the first commencing at 1pm, and the second at 4pm — Honesty Hour features a card game filled with deep, meaningful questions aimed at helping to foster stronger bonds and initiate conversations that go beyond the surface.

Changing the event’s beat for Saturday evening will be showcase by JayC Ho, who is producing and hosting the third edition of the RnB Live Session for the festival, rebranded as ‘Ruai Biru’ to give it a more localised flavour.

The performing line-up will include Sarawakian R&B legends Ila Damiaa and brother Adi Johar, TikTok sensation Roxy Ixzy, and rising stars Aerron Teo, Florianne Juseng, Aap, HK, and Ezriana Razalie.

On Sunday, there will be a panel discussion featuring professionals from The Inner Lynk, Mental Health Awareness of Sarawak (MHAS), Dee Hati Centre for Grief, Bereavement and Trauma, Kuching Autistic Association, as well as a certified educational counsellor. This two-hour session will commence at noon.

“Our first instalment, in March 2023, was about women empowerment. For this instalment, in conjunction with May being the ‘Mental Health Month’ , we want to highlight that help and support are always accessible.

“This is what we strive to provide in ‘Seni Kita: Mental Health May’ . We have brought in many professionals whom the visitors can consult with in many workshops.

“This is us doing our part for this important topic, relevant especially to the disparaged and conflicted individuals amongst us,” said HAUS KCH co-founder and director Syed Rusydie Syed Habib during a press conference on the festival today.

Nonetheless, Seni Kita Weekend is still an arts festival and thus, there will be activities catered towards highlighting this segment.

The headline is the culinary event, ‘Earthly Delights: A Teatime Degustation’ presented by HAUS KCH and Chef Achang Libat’s team.

This gastronomic feature highlights the exploration of Bornean ingredients, bringing out the best of what this part of the world has to offer.

This elegant teatime extravaganza is supported by Sylvia Lim of Ngirupp, who is adding to the table her specialised cocktails that are available for purchase as well.

Additionally, 40 Pasar Seni Kita vendors will display their best works for sale at the exhibition venue, either on-site or for order.

Several of them will also be holding interactive mini-workshops for the visitors. Their offerings range from fashion clothing and accessories, to arts prints and wellness products — there is something for everyone.

To know more about Seni Kita Weekend: Mental Health May, seek @hauskch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter channels, @senikitakch on Instagram, or email enquiries to [email protected].

Sponsored by Sarawak Metro and HERO AVL, the event is also supported by Hikari Riders, International Association of Students in Economics and Business (AIESEC) Kuching Chapter, and Ngirupp.

Seni Kita (Our Arts in Malay) accommodates all arts disciplines and their related practices such as visual arts, performing arts and literature. Launched in 2021, it started off as a collaboration between HAUS KCH and The Hills community lifestyle hub.

HAUS KCH is a creative hub that advocates and facilitates the empowerment of grassroots creative individuals and entities through space- and programme-based collaborations. The hub was established in late 2016 with input from over 10 communities. Today, it houses eight collectives, businesses and associations that operate within its premises at City Square Kuching.