24 Oct 2017

VENUE: UNSW Art and Design Campus, EG02 Lecture Theatre

Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’?
The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience.

What if a psychological crisis was seen as having the potential to be a positive transformative experience, instead of a “broken brain”? Human-rights photographer Phil Borges witnessed how indigenous cultures around the world often identify “psychotic” symptoms as an indicator of shamanic potential.

Schedule of events on the night:

5pm – 6pm: Labyrinth Psychotica – demonstrations in Galleries UNSW. An interactive augmented reality cinema walk that functions as a do-it-yourself-psychosis-kit. 

6:15pm – 7:40pm: Film Screening.

7:40pm – 8:30pm: Long Table Discussion with mental health experts, experts-by-experience and audience. Discussants include Prof Peter Kinderman (University of Liverpool, UK), Prof Katherine Boydell (Black Dog Institute), Psychiatrist Julia Lappin and more! The discussion covers topics explored in the film, including lived experience and cross-cultural approaches to mental health.

Film Synopsis

Back in the US, Phil follows two young Americans diagnosed with “mental illness.” Adam, 27, suffers devastating side effects from medications before embracing meditation. Ekhaya, 32, survives several suicide attempts before spiritual training to become a traditional South African healer. CRAZYWISE introduces mental health professionals and psychiatric survivors who see a psychological crisis as a potential growth experience, not a disease.