Back in the early days of Icarus, Jacks and I compiled all kinds of brilliant musings and visions from Icarus Project community forum members. We were trying to chart new territory beyond the biopsychiatric model, elevate the voices of so-called “mad” people into a chorus for change. This blog post was originally published in our book, Navigating the Space between Brilliance and Madness, and it seems like a fitting start to a weekly series of pulling up (sub)cultural gems from the depths of our website up into the topsoil of 2014. Enjoy it! Repost it! If you recognize your words in the mix please get in touch and share your more recent stories and thoughts with us. This is our community history!
Imagine you are standing with your head poking out of a little tent, alone in an enormous open clearing, in the middle of a raging hurricane. There’s almost no space to hear yourself think over the wind. At the edge of the clearing, far away, the wind knocks down trees and power lines. The storm is so vast and loud you can’t hear your own voice over the pummeling noise, because the wind whips the words out of your mouth before you utter them.
In a matter of hours the Senate is set to vote on HR 4320, a Medicare bill which contains a provision that would subject people in crisis to court-ordered forced drugging (euphemistically termed "assisted outpatient treatment"), while eliminating initiatives that promote evidence-based, voluntary, peer-run services and supports. Please take action to help stop this! The stakes are high and we don't have much time.
Mad Maps are documents that we create for ourselves as reminders of our goals, what is important to us, our personal signs of struggle and our strategies for self-determined well-being. Though originally inspired by the idea of Advanced Directives (legal documents to share with doctors and friends in the event of being hospitalized), over time this idea has evolved further to include a transformative element: how do we move beyond adapting and coping, toward actually changing the world that we live in? By creating documents that help us to explore our mad gifts and better understand and get through tough times, we are able to re-envision the boundaries of our individual and collective potential.
The Icarus Project is looking for volunteers to work as a focus group to further analyze the intersection of madness and oppression for our upcoming Mad Mapping guide. In this instance, we aim to explore ways in which we can cope with oppression, and how to join our collective forces to mitigate and overcome oppression in our communities. If you are navigating, or have navigated, an experience of oppression due to racism, gender identity, sexual orientation, ableism, sexism, size, age, and/or socioeconomic status, and you would like to volunteer to help us make a better resource, please participate by filling out the survey. All questions are optional!
The Icarus Project is looking for volunteers to work as a focus group in analyzing the intersection of madness and oppression for our upcoming Mad Mapping guide. If you are navigating, or have navigated, an experience of oppression and discrimination in health care, you can help others by sharing your stories and skills. If you'd like to volunteer to help us make a better resource, please participate by filling out the poll. The goal of this project is to share stories, coping skills and wellness strategies so that the guide will be useful and accessible to as many people as possible.
This May, The Icarus Project will be launching a new digital gallery on our website showcasing visual art that explores the themes of "Madness and Oppression: Resistance and Resilience." If you'd like your artwork to be included, please get in touch and share a link to your work using the contact form below.
Set in the time of mass de-institutionalization of psychiatric patients, the Mental Patients Association (MPA) emerged in Vancouver at the start of the 1970s. This 36-minute documentary film, produced in 2013 by History of Madness Productions, captures the MPA experience and its impact through interviews with former members, supplemented with animated illustration and archival footage