Does modern art, such as Artaud, Beckett, and Duchamp, parallel the mad frames of mind that get labeled "schizophrenia?" Is extreme sensitivity and inner self-consciousness behind artistic innovation and breaks with reality? Rutgers University psychologist Louis Sass, author of Madness And Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought, discusses art as an insight into the subjective inner world of madness. firstname.lastname@example.org
What is it like to hear voices? How do people learn to live with their voices, and are voices sometimes positive and helpful? What is the connection between voices and trauma? Jacqui Dillon, voice hearer and director of the UK Hearing Voices Network, discusses how the movement of people who hear voices is creating self-help alternatives to traditional and often abusive mental health care. www.intervoiceonline.org, www.caslcampaign.com.
UK clinical psychologist Rufus May descended into madness -- convinced he was on a spy mission and that animals were robots, he even walked into a family gathering naked. How did Rufus find meaning in these experiences, learn to live without medication, and become a successful psychologist and mental health advocate? Rufus was recently featured in the Channel 4 feature film The Doctor Who Hears Voices. www.rufusmay.com
Clinical Psychologist David Lukoff talks about his madness experience and the spiritual transformation it triggered. David went on to become a leading figure in the field of Transpersonal Psychology and works to bring greater spiritual awareness into mainstream mental health practice. http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/
UK video activist and writer Mel Gunasena on her mystical experiences and forced psychiatric hospitalization. Mel is the director of Evolving Minds, a documentary film about spiritual experiences and what gets labeled "psychosis" by the mental health system. She also discusses the art therapy project in Sri Lanka she helped found to assist traumatized tsunami-affected children. See a trailer for the film at www.undercurrents.org/minds and check out the Sri Lanka project at www.art-2-art.org/.
Blacks in the UK are much more likely than white people to be locked up, put on drugs, and mistreated in the mental health system. Social scientist Philip Morgan of London's Tower Hamlets African and Caribbean Mental Health Organization (THACMHO) discusses the legacy of slavery, survivor-run advocacy for system change, and an innovative project reclaiming Black identity through historical research. www.thacmho.org.uk