"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.
The Icarus Project has long been associated with the Mad Pride movement, though individual members may or may not associate themselves with the word Mad, or feel any particular sense of pride in relation to experiences of what might be called madness. Organizationaly, The Icarus Project has edged away from the language of Mad Pride, in an effort to be inclusive of those who may not identify as Mad.
The website of The Icarus Project is roughly a decade old, has largely not been funded and has been the digital duct tape that has held the online community together in marvelous ways. A new web team has been hired to bring the site up to date with today's technological requirements. This is where we are at.
An intergenerational trauma is a cumulative multigenerational suffering that has been experienced by cultural groups and has left lasting effects not only in the first generation, but also in the generations that follow.
Folks who have been involved with the radical mental health movement for a while are likely familiar with filmmaker Ken Paul Rosenthal’s work. His film Crooked Beauty has helped to tell the story of The Icarus Project by weaving Jacks McNamara’s personal narrative with poetically visualized images of a stunning and broken world that is ever-striving to heal itself. Inspired by Bonfire Madigan Shive, one of the original catalysts of The Icarus Project, whose voice, music, and being helped to galvanize the vision of an international network of wild-hearted explorers of the space between brilliance and madness, Rosenthal is setting the roaring intricacies of Madigan’s voice and cello compositions to the larger landscape of a boldly soaring, crashing and trembling world.
This week for Throwback Thursday I'm digging up a classic piece by Leah Harris, who now works for the National Empowerment Center and just wrote this piece, Defeating Goliath: Mental Health is a Social Justice Issue, for Mad in America about defeating the Murphy Bill.
Here she is, in the younger days of Icarus, 2004, when we were to carve space for language that didn't just define us in opposition to psychiatry, but allowed us to express our beauty and solidarity. I recently slept on Leah's couch and it was awesome to catch up with her after a bunch of years. She's doing great work these days, just like she hoped she would be doing. Mad love, Sascha.
This week for Throwback Thursday I’m dredging up an old post from when I was the Icarus representative at a SAMHSA meeting in Washington DC and we made a bunch of new movement friends. This was around the time of our 5th anniversary and we were in the midst of a lot of interesting organizing on college campuses, working out of the office at Fountain House in New York City, and using the language of Mad Ones and Mad Pride a whole lot. Icarus has always managed to stay on the outside of the government money non-profitworld, trading some amount of legitimacy and exposure for keeping our messages radical. This is an interesting post because it documents the confluence of a bunch of activists who have yet to end up in the same room again. I wonder what the future holds?