Dr. Erminia Colucci uses arts-based and visual methods, particularly photography and ethnographic film-documentary, in her research, development and advocacy work in Cultural/Global mental health in Low-and-Middle Income Countries and immigrant and refugee populations. Her key interests are human rights violations in mental health, health inequalities, suicide prevention, women rights and violence against women and girls, child and young refugee mental health, spiritual/traditional healing practices, and first-hand stories of people with lived-experience of ‘mental illness’ and suicidal behaviour.
Erminia’s films and photographs have been shown wordwide including in Poland, Italy, Australia, Uruguay, Greece, Canada, U.K. and Switzerland. Erminia was also the still photographer for the award winning 72 Hour Project film ‘The Ballad of Des & Mo’. Erminia is the founder and festival director of Aperture, the first Asia Pacific International Ethnographic Documentary Festival, chair of the non-profit ‘Multicultural Women in Arts’ and Chair of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry SIG on Arts, Media and Mental Health. In this role she recently co-edited the special issue ‘Arts, Media and Cultural Mental Health’ (http://www.wcprr.org/volumes/volume-10-number-34/). She recently completed a collaborative film-documentary about suicide, the Breaking the chains project and a digital story-telling project on Journeys of recovery among people from migrant and refugee backgrounds with lived experience of mental illness. She is currently working on a film project on violence against women and girls and mental illness/suicide in The Philippines, funded by The University of Melbourne.
Erminia is currently based at the Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London where she is the Co-Lead and lecturer in the MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health (a joint programme with the Department of Drama) and is also an Honorary Research Fellow with the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, The University of Melbourne where she was previously based for 7 years. Erminia holds a PhD in Cultural Psychiatry (The University of Queensland, Australia), MPhil in Visual Anthropology/Ethnographic Documentary (The University of Manchester, U.K.), Bachelor of Science and Honours in Clinical and Community Psychology (Padua University, Italy), PG Diploma in Data Analysis (University of Florence, Italy) and is currently completing a PG Certificate in Academic Practice (Queen Mary University of London, U.K.).