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The Conference


Seeing Through A Different Lens

A two-day conference examining the use of photography to support mental health.


Experience first-hand the work Belfast Exposed has been delivering in this field over the past 25 years and hear from industry professionals. See the therapeutic benefits of photography and its processes brought to life. Get an insight into inspirational, real-life stories. Learn and develop new techniques and share your experiences with peers.

With keynote speakers at the Metropolitan Art Centre (MAC), the conference also gives you a chance to explore the Cathedral Quarter, the beating heart of the visual arts in Belfast. We want to make your experience as creative and active as possible. Through the conference’s creative programme, you get a chance to explore the galleries and vibrant street art situated around historic St Anne’s Cathedral and the bustling University of Ulster campus, as you’re guided between workshops and talks.
Over two days, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with 18 keynote speakers, 11 visual art exhibitions, 10 workshop/case studies, 6 artist talks and to take part in an adventurous sunrise photoshoot on Belfast’s beautiful Cave Hill and a Maritime walk. This unique combination is guaranteed to provide two fulfilling days you can’t afford to miss!

Seeing Through A Different Lens

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  • Mental illness can cast a long shadow on individuals, families and communities. Tackling mental health in creative ways presents unique opportunities for us all to work together. 

  • There is global recognition of mental health crisis. Many mental health conditions can be effectively treated at relatively low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial. 

  • In the UK, two-thirds say that they experience mental health issues. Rising to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone. In Northern Ireland you are 25% more likely to suffer from a mental health condition than those living elsewhere in the UK. 

Who should attend?

  • Art Industry professionals who want to know more about using art to support mental health within communities. 

  • Professionals from health care sectors who are interested in non-clinical means to support the mental health of their clients. 

  • Businesses who understand the benefits of supporting mental health in their teams

  • Photographers and Artists. 

  • Socially engaged artists. 

  • Students and academics exploring mental health and arts

  • Communities wanting to explore alternative ways to support mental health 

  • Marketing Professionals

  • Anyone with an interest in the subject


A Sense of Wonder Lagan Walk




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  • Memory, conflict, trauma legacy 

  • Black Mental Health 

  • Young people’s mental Health 

  • Mental health impacts on Homelessness?

  • Current research on photography & mental health?

  • What are the ethics behind?

  • Workplace stress impact on businesses

  • How can class impact on mental health? 

  • What are the impacts of photographing war? 

What will be achieved?

  • Address key challenges facing mental health and how therapeutic photography can assist in the current mental health crisis.

  • Bring together policymakers, photography and arts organisations, leading academics, and people with lived experience 

  • Discover the latest practices on creative healing 

  • Gain a greater understanding of international and national activities 

  • Identify mental health care gaps, and how to bridge them

  • Explore lessons learnt through live case studies 

  • Hear from lived-experience speakers, and discover how we can use insight to co-design and improve the delivery of programmes. 

  • Provide a network of arts and health collaborators


A Sense of Wonder Lagan Walk

Workshop Facilitatrs

Workshop Facilitators


The Healing Through Photography Conference will provide a sustainable experience making these promises:

  • Using ‘Slido’ a virtual conference programme producing no waste combustible or recyclable cups limiting impact on environment.

  • Partnership with local catering firm providing healthy ethically sourced food and snacks. leftover food will be donated to Belfast based food banks.

  • All conference merchandise sustainability sourced. 

  • Encourage use of public transport to reduce carbon footprint.

  • Provide 20 bursaries for delegates to create accessibility. 

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*tickets are non-refundable except in
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