Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What is Madness? - and so much more.

Illustration by Clifford Harper/Agraphia.co.uk
What is Madness? This is the title of a new book by psychoanalyst Darian Leader, which was reviewed in the Guardian on Saturday 1st October. Whilst I haven’t yet read the book, it looks incredibly interesting and relevant to our field. The review was by Jacqueline Rose and made for interesting reading itself, particularly her discussion around the government sponsored ‘therapy of choice,’ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Rose reflects the Governments No Health without Mental Health and their commitment to evidence based therapy, which allows session-by-session outcome monitoring, predominantly measured by employment rates. Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Landsley, she notes, acknowledges that unemployment is a key factor in precipitating anxiety disorders and depression. You can see where this is leading I’m sure!

Joblessness is above 2.5 million and rising as a result of government policy, and it seems that,’ the government by its own account, is provoking the problem it is trying to cure.’

The article then eloquently discusses the commodification of humans and the emptying of our unconscious mental life. It’s a great article and one that I feel would benefit from an arts/health lens, but for me the question of what madness is, perhaps lies in the Joseph Heller inspired governance of our disconnected leaders.

See the review here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/29/what-madness-darian-leader-review

Un-Conference 2011
Click here for more information about the free event at MMU on October 20th.

Library Theatre Company & Cornerhouse are seeking:
Storybox Project Co-ordinator
£21,473 pro rata for 3 days a week (3-year fixed term contract)
Based: Manchester City Centre

We are looking to appoint a highly motivated, passionate and experienced individual to deliver an exciting and innovative arts workshop programme for older people living with Alzheimer’s & dementia.

Start2 (Change your life with Art)
Change your life with Art is an NHS service that is totally unique. Created by Start in Manchester with the support of the Strategic Health Authority and the Department of Health, it will be a collection of creative ‘courses’ with wellbeing themes, and that will encourage people to connect to the world differently, see their own strengths, be aware of their own stress triggers and have ways to handle that stress better – all through evidence based creative activities. Although it’s not launched formally until January 2011, you can get a sneak peak here and register for updates: http://www.start2.co.uk/  

Lucy Sparrow
A Health Lottery...
Did you know about the new Health Lottery? No, not government policy, or our world famous post-code lottery, this is the one that gives a massive 20p of every pound you spend towards a good cause! The rest presumably goes to Richard Desmond, the 57th richest man in the UK and owner of Express Newspapers, OK, Television X and Red Hot TV.
A taste of things to come...?

Artist in Residence Opportunity
LIME are seeking two artists for a short term experimental residency project. This is a ‘paired residency’ scheme whereby each artist will work with a similar hospital department but in two hospitals, one in Bolton and one in Manchester.

Fee for each artist: £3,000 (including materials costs)
Application Deadline: Tuesday 11th October
Start Date: Week of 7th November

Full Details at: