Depression, Self and Society:

From First-person to Societal Perspectives

Background and problem

Representations of people with physical disabilities are all too often one-dimensional. Historically, the disabled body have been tightly associated with moral crookedness and in more modern times people living with disabilities, have been perceived as perceptually innocent. Both representations end up denying people living with disabilities a full range of human emotions and dispositions.

Vision & mission

In this project we wish to make a new interpretation of the most known theater character with physical disability: Richard III. We will free him from the one-dimensional and evil narrative, and instead focus on developing a more complex narrative of Richard. Here we will emphasize both his disabling (physical deformity, societal exclusion, self-stigmatization, weakness) as well as the enabling (cognitive abilities, agency, strength, goodness) aspects.


The production of Richard III started in 2017. The play will premiere on HamletScenen in Elsinore in August 2019.


Depression, Self and Society is a collaboration between Enactlab and the theater company Stages of Science.

This project was supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, Lundbeck Foundation and Spar Nord Foundation.

Results and impact

The Black Dog and The Human Burden had a combined reach in the vicinity of 1.6 million people.

Target audience

– Psychologically vulnerable people, who have had or are currently experiencing depression.

– The families, friends and colleagues of psychologically vulnerable people.

– Professionals, who as part of their profession are in contact with psychologically vulnerable people (eg. in the health sector, social services, employment services etc.)

-The general public


Both the theatre play and the podcast focused on communicating embodied knowledge. The Human Burden did this by integrating psychological vulnerable people in the creation of the play, telling their own stories. While the interactive podcast was an innovative way to convey embodied knowledge. The podcast app communicated knowledge and collected data for new knowledge production at the same time.

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