Join us for the opening of the Balmy Army, part of Manchester International Festival 2023.

Over the last nine months more than 40 young people with mental health struggles from across Greater Manchester have been on a radical art, activism and mutual care journey. Responding to three questions ‘How were you supported in that past? How should you have be supported? How do we make that support you need real?’

The Balmy Army welcome you to their action lab at the gallery at HOME, a space to be brave and to try to feel safer. For two hours the Balmy Army will share the journey that they have been on. From performances, songs, videos and ‘checking in’ with each other. This two hour event will be a mixture of sharing their art, their process and how they want to begin the impossible task of making real something that has never existed, mental health support led by young people, for young people and fit for purpose.

The sharing event will be fragile, messy and brave, disabled and proud, mad and beautiful, sad and joyful. It will refuse to be how the art world and mental health system want us to be, it won’t be contained. It will be on our terms. So come with an open heart and a desire to support the Balmy Army to speak truth to power that has failed them for far too long.

2 hours

This event takes place in the HOME Main Gallery.

Seating is unreserved and it will be an active event where you’ll be encouraged to take part, though you won’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. This will be part workshop, part show and part mutual care space.

Please note: The age recommendation for this event is 14+.

This event is free, but booking is required.

This event will be in the Balmy Army’s space where there will be a range of access needs. We are committed to ensuring this is a safe space where everyone feels heard, seen and valued.

Due to topic of mental health, this event is likely to be emotional and could be triggering for some. Further trigger warnings will be included during the event.

The space will be relaxed, it will be fine for you to go in and out of the event.

This is a safe space for stimming, for vocal expressions, for mobility aids, for essential companions, for emotional support animals for fidget toys, and for you to ask for the support you need to enjoy this experience.

This event will be live captioned and interpreted in BSL.