What is The Hope Project?
A charitable arts and photographic project designed to tackle
the stigma of male mental health and spread a message of
hope and positivity.
The most common cause of death for men aged 15-45 is
suicide, typically linked to mental health issues.Suicide and
mental illness are often a taboo topic, with uncertainty and
fear about how to talk about it. But it is precisely by talking
about it that we can prevent it.
Hope has been created to do exactly that. Hope shares the
stories of men from across Europe who have experienced
dark, difficult periods in their lives but who have found a way
orward to live with meaning and balance. This is a message
Who is behind The Hope Project?
The Hope Project was founded by Swedish artist, photographer and personal development practitioner Aamod Korhonen.
In his early years Aamod became an addict and at the age of 15 years old he had his first suicide attempt. By his late 20s he had been diagnosed with clinical depression.
Aamod used his art as his outlet to express his feelings, focussing on the subject of masculinity and the nature of what it means to be a man in today’s society. His artistic work helped him to gradually recover before finally detoxing completely with the support of his wife Sophelia, and moving into personal development work alongside his art.
Aamod founded Hope in 2018 with the aim of blending art and personal
development to address this important area of male wellbeing.
What’s the mission?
We want men to understand that struggling with their mental health is OK and normal, that many others feel the same as them and there is hope for a full recovery and a happy life, even though for some people this can seem hard to imagine.
What’s the vision?
To build a pan-european charity that raises awareness in every european country and beyond, reaching 100 million men over the next 5 years and lowering the male suicide rate in Europe by 50%.
Our ambition is to work together with like-minded organisations, charities and individuals such as OECD, WHO, Mind and The Fontainhouses.
How does the Hope project
deliver its message?
The focus of the Hope project is a photographic exhibition that tells the stories of men from across Europe who have struggled with their mental health and have emerged stronger and happier from their experience.
The exhibition features large-scale portrait photographs (210x150cm) of each men alongside their story. It is a simple and powerful exhibition of storytelling designed to inspire people to empathise and feel hope. Visiting the exhibition provides an overwhelming feeling of meeting many courageous men who have gone through difficulties in their lives.
The exhibition is a platform for opening up a loving and creative discussion among visitors. Schools are actively invited to visit the exhibition and to talk about mental health and suicide and what we can do to support friends and family who suffer from mental health illness.
We will produce a high quality printed
book featuring the photographic portraits
and stories of the men featured in the
exhibition as well as other men.
The book will be available to buy online
and at the exhibition.
The website – ibelieveinhope.org
The website and facebook page work to support and promote the project.
The website features short video interviews with the men
featured in the exhibition so people can get to know them even more.
There is also information about where people can get support in their country. While Hope aims to inspire men, we always guide people to organisations which can provide actual support.
In addition we feature educational materials aimed at schools to help students address mental health issues using art and
Launching and touring the project
We aim to launch the project in Palma, Mallorca in September 2020 with a 50 portrait exhibition.
Then tour the exhibition across Europe during 2020 to Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, England, Wales and Ireland.
Launching and touring the project
We aim to work with third party organisations in each city we visit to build out a wider programme of activity around the exhibition, thus reaching a wider audience and increasing awareness.
The focus of this activity is to explore ways in which arts and creativity can support mental health.
How does the project finance itself?
The Hope Project is a not-for-profit charity, registered in Sweden. It seeks financial
★ European funding
★ Local country funding
★ Local city / council funding or support
★ Donations (at the exhibition)
★ Book sales
★ Private individuals philanthropy
What is the funding/support needed for?
- To source, meet and photograph the subject
- To print the portraits so they can be exhibited.
- A basic salary to Aamod to coordinate the project part-time.
- Website creation and social media outreach to spread the word.
- Exhibition space in host European cities.
- Marketing the exhibition in each city location.