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Coup Cura at work on 5 schools in North Brabant
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30 December 2020

Coup Cura at work on 5 schools in North Brabant

After the summer, the schools reopened and the actrices of Coup Cura talked to students about addiction: ‘In many classes, we managed to create a safe atmosphere and discuss a difficult subject.’

For the Foundation, the work of Coup Cura is a new, promising way of making stigmas around addiction possible to discuss, and through discussing them, breaking them down. ‘Addiction is ignored too often.’ Says Frans Werter of the Zorg van de Zaak Foundation. ‘It is downplayed and people prefer not to discuss it, both in families and at work. Due to this sort of stigma, problems build and people can end up in the illness benefit system.’

The actrices of Coup Cura visited 5 schools and met a total of 250 students. Karin Jessica Jansen is excited about what was achieved: ‘In many classes, we managed to create a safe atmosphere and discuss a difficult subject.’ Students were shown 20 photos and had to indicate which person in each photo they expected to have an addiction. The photos were a representative collection: men, women, people with a Dutch background and with a migration background.

Among all students, white people came in first place. ‘A slightly heavier man and has blurry-eyed man was immediately pointed out by everybody participating. That’s an understandable response’, says Jessica Jansen. Students were subsequently asked to create a ‘sound poem’. They had to describe their perception of how they come across to their environment. ‘That had a freeing effect. It made students willing to step out of their comfort zones and discuss their problems. Everywhere we went, something happened’.

At the moment, Coup Cura is working on the second ‘artistic intervention’: a documentary based on a conversation between a student and a recovering addict. The documentary is shown on all the schools which have been visited. Later in 2021, visits will be made to businesses, in collaboration with Novadic Kentron.

‘It is good when new tools are developed in addiction care’, says Frans Werter. ‘Theatre has the advantage of being able to make you feel things. It hits deeper.’ Therefore, theatre can help remove prejudices and address taboos.

In 2015, nearly 2 million Dutch people were addicted to something. (Source: Jellinek). Medicine (including somnifacients), alcohol and tobacco were in the top 3. Addiction eventually leads to people becoming less effective and even ending up in the illness benefit system.