International Allies- Report Backs 2011


INTERNATIONALReports from Barcelona, Radio Nikosia, Berlin, Stockholm, and IndiaAviv – Barcelona, SpainEl Centro de Cultivos Contemporaneos del Barrio is a place where "serious" and "frivolous" issues and ways of doing mix indistinguishably.The idea is to use practices and tools from the world of cultural production, applying them to the problems and the basic necessities of the ethnically mixed, working-class neighborhood we live in (Poble-Sec, Barcelona).It's both a social and artistic laboratory, where we play with the stuff our daily life is made of: nutrition, health, housing, education, trying to create new models that, like Buckminster Fuller said, make the old ones obsolete.It was an amazing opportunity to have Sascha here giving a talk and a workshop . We used this opportunity to invite people from the radical mental health community to hang out with us for a couple of days in our center, hearing about the Icarus Project and talking about their own experiences. The Barcelona area has some interesting projects, La Assamblea Majarra and Radio Nicosia being two. Some are quite akin to the Icarus Project, but maybe not as articulated or at least not articulated in the same way. It was quite an inspiration for us, and I believe for them, to get in touch with the complex, poetic and radical way of doing of The Icarus Project, which is such an example of what we are interested in generating here in this street corner of Poble-Sec.RADIO NIKOSIA radio is an intimate time for its participants, a place to release fears, which express opinions and dreams. But Nicosia is not limited to exist only during the two hours of broadcasting. It is a family, a creative laboratory. Art is one of the most expressive forms used by the 'nikosianos' each week participating in a course in painting and writing for the 'Newspaper Nikosiano'.The topics discussed during the broadcast are determined by all-as in the weekly assembly. On the radio talking about issues related to the radical anti-psychiatry, issues related to deepen mental suffering by using a critical eye and a clear and direct language.The radio wants to be mainly a time of liberation of oppressed voices, the result is a mix of poetry, cheeky comments, moments of incredible depth and insight, always accompanied the whole with a good dose of self-irony and sincerity. The aim is to deconstruct the suffering and stigma through the media.Rising Radical Mental Health Movement in Berlin, Germany.During the last months several activities questioning the psychiatric system took place in Berlin, Germany.In June there was a movie circle organized by a working group of the Naturfreundejugend Berlin ( The group works on critical views on the psychiatric systems (Psychiatriekritik). The program included I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK by Park Chan-wook, Diagnosing Difference by Annalise Ophelian and Crooked Beauty by Ken Paul Rosenthal from the Icarus Project. Sascha from the Icarus Project also held a workshop on "Radical Peer Support" that seems to meet a big need of people.In September 2011 an international conference of survivors of the psychiatric system took place in Berlin. It was called "Searching for a rose garden - fostering real alternatives to psychiatry". It addressed the need for "survivor control: the rights and self-help opportunities of people with psychiatric experience" and was organized by the Berlin Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence - Verein zum Schutz vor psychiatrischer Gewalt e. V. It sent out a powerful sign and encouragement that alternatives to a repressive psychiatric system are needed and survivors and friends build up a rising movement of change! You can find more information here: peer-solidarity! Andrea Stockholm, Sweden"The mainly Stockholm based network Psykradikal Minnesfond (approx Psych radical Memorial Fund) have been holding lectures, support meetings and workshops during 2011. A survival workshop for everyone who lives in a sick society was held both at the LGBTQ-festival in Gothenburg and at the Anarcho Pride festival in Stockholm. At the Stockholm Pride festival we arranged a panel discussion with representatives from different networks and organizations that are working for the right to be who one is regardless of psychiatric status. At the moment we're working on our coming website this year the queer magazine Kom Ut featured Psykradikal Minnesfond in an article about radical views on mental illness call ourselves proud psykfall. In Swedish "psykfall" is a derogatory word for head case or lunatic. But we're reclaiming it and filling it with new radical meanings!"IndiaFacebook page (MAD Pride India) Group

We're thinking of starting Mad Pride India blog soon, to reach those who're not on Facebook.
We're gonna take the links and posts on the FB page and group and publish them on the blog under CC licence wherever possible. It'll also have links to peer support networks, user-survivor communities, alternative treatments, survivor blogs, human rights groups in India and abroad.
As a resource, I think it can be of immense help to the mad folks, survivors, caregivers and activists.Peace & Mad Pride,