We are a support network and media project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We envision a new culture that allows the space and freedom for exploring different states of being, and recognizes that breakdown can be the entrance to breakthrough. We aim to create a language that is so vast and rich that it expresses the infinite diversity of human experiences.
From the sidewalk, standing at the door, a person cannot see the details of the work that is displayed there, or notice the how the pictures and drawings in the current show, Mad Cartographies: Wilderness of the Soul, are hung by hat pins and magnets set atop the heads of nails. The forms on paper and canvas, in wood and photo, aren't visible. The stories they tell are quiet from the streetview.
"I would like to learn more about the ways members are working individually and collectively to carve out creative spaces for thinking differently about mental health, some strengths and challenges engaging with groups (both on and off-line), and how your chapter discusses alternative ways to understand extreme mental states. I am also particularly interested in the role that technology plays in bringing groups together and providing a forum to express emotions and thoughts with others in your community." - E. Fletcher, Institute of Medical Humanities doctoral student
Parenthood can be a uniquely isolating experience under the best of circumstances, but for those of us from underrepresented groups within the dominant culture, parenthood can be fraught with, what often feels like, insurmountable difficulties. We would like to reach out to our community again for help in further defining what it is that mad parents and parents of mad children need to form solid communities of support and to gain skills to help each other navigate these often treacherous waters.
Recently The Icarus Project reached out to its community with a series of surveys asking for input on the creation of a Mad Maps Project. Mad Maps are reminder documents we create for ourselves, and the people around us, about our wellness goals, warning signs, strategies for health, and who we trust to look out for our best interests when we’re struggling. These surveys asked a broad range of questions including how oppression and intergenerational trauma create and/or impact madness. These surveys yielded a need within our community for broader discussions and support systems for mad parents and parents of mad children.