Activist Communiqué

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Krystalline Kraus is an intrepid journalist and veteran reporter for rabble.ca since its 2001 beginnings. She needs neither a red cape nor safety goggles to fly into her latest political assignment. She often live-tweets from events -- almost exclusively First Nations and environmental issues. You can follow her on Twitter @krystalline_k.

Activist Communique: Mad Pride Toronto 2013 - A Celebration of Madness from July 8-14, 2013

| July 7, 2013
Activist Communique: Mad Pride Toronto 2013 - A Celebration of Madness from July 8-14, 2013

The Deets:

Monday July 8 at 12:00 pm until Sunday July 14 at 7:00 pm

Downtown Toronto

 

The Call Out:

Fwd: For the full schedule of Mad Pride Toronto 2013 events, please check our website at www.madprideto.com and the July 1st edition of C/S Info Bulletin at www.csinfo.ca.

*** DAY ONE: MONDAY, JULY 8 ***
Where? Ryerson University, ENG103, 245 Church Street

12-12:45pm: Mad Pride Toronto 2013 Kick-Off

1-2:45pm: MAD THINK TANK SERIES (PART 1):
Can the International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities stop psychiatric torture?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was developed with representation by psychiatric survivors and users of psychiatry. It has been interpreted by the UN Rapporteur on Torture to mean that treatment imposed on people with disabilities, including mental, psychosocial or psychiatric disabilities, can constitute a form of torture. Thus, the state cannot impose treatment, as it does using the Mental Health Act in Ontario and similar laws in Canadian provinces and territories. This means that people in distress could ask for psychiatric (or other) treatments, but should never be forced to take them (though they could ask for such interventions privately). It also means that disputes attributed to mental disorder would be handled primarily by the courts.

Regardless of how well state governments follow international agreements, activists in the disability and mad communities are gearing up to monitor Canada’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. However, these two communities have a lot to learn from one another to strengthen our common voices. Join a public discussion on the Convention and its implications, on monitoring Canada’s implementation, and on how disability activism can support the rights of people conceived as mad or mentally ill.

Community participation in this discussion is welcome. A panel of four disabled and mad people will introduce the topic. Psychiatric survivor writer Erick Fabris will discuss a recent meeting of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and their discussions on the Convention. Disability researcher Samantha Walsh will relate experiences that indicate how people conceived with intellectual, psychiatric, and mental disabilities face everyday discrimination. Mad activist Jeremiah Bach will suggest how mad people could demand accommodations. And Council of Canadians with Disabilities spokesperson Vangelis Nikias will discuss how people with physical disabilities are monitoring Canada’s progress in implementing the Convention.

3-6pm: NOW WE'RE ALL CRAZY - WHAT NEXT?
You’re invited to join the conversation
The Leadership Project

Featuring:
Kevin Healey
Kwame Mackenzie
Phil Thomas
and more……

6-8pm: ALTERED STATES – FILMS BY MAD PEOPLE: MARS PROJECT
A decade ago rapper Khari "Conspiracy" Stewart was diagnosed with a psychological disorder, but he has rejected the label and is pursuing a spiritual path. For half of his life, Khari "Conspiracy" Stewart has fought a spiritual war against two demons: Anacron, an intergalactic consciousness that possesses Stewart's mind, and the Canadian mental health system, which diagnosed him with schizophrenia over a decade ago.

Through artful documentation of Khari's history, daily life and with insight from psychiatric experts, "Mars Project" reveals the deep complexities of mental health and the inadequacies of the current Canadian healthcare system. Khari's diagnosis or spiritual encounters (as he refers to them) have entrenched themselves so deeply, that it will take much more than a state-imposed drug regimen or spiritual healing to vanquish his demons.

Yet Khari isn't just a victim. His plagued mind has simultaneously debilitated him and formed the foundation for his identity as a contemporary soothsayer who spreads his message and his experiences through the recited verb-forms of his rap music. Tormented artist, spiritual shaman, drug-addled rapper, Khari's unique experience seeks to challenge our understanding of schizophrenia and mental health.


*** DAY TWO: TUESDAY, JULY 9 ***
Where? 246 Sackville Street

7-10pm: MAD MATTERS BOOK LAUNCH FEAT. MAD COMEDY JAM:

Mad Matters brings together the writings of this vital movement, which has grown explosively in the years since 1993. With contributions from scholars in numerous disciplines, as well as activists and psychiatric survivors, it presents diverse critical voices that convey the lived experiences of the psychiatrized and challenges dominant understandings of "mental illness." The connections between mad activism and other liberation struggles are stressed throughout, making the book a major contribution to the literature on human rights and anti-oppression.

Followed by:

Mad Comedy Jam

Featuring the best in Mad stand-up comedy! There have been comedians who talk about craziness, but nothing compares to Mad comedians cracking up about madness!


*** DAY THREE: WEDNESDAY, JULY 10 ***

3-5pm: THE EMPOWERMENT COUNCIL PRESENTS:
THE MAD HATTER TEA PARTY!
and
LUNACY, LAWS, & LAWYERS: an update on key topics in mental health.

Location: CAMH Cafeteria, 1001 Queen Street

Guest panelists:
Anita Szigeti, Mental Health Lawyer, Toronto, Former Chair of the Mental Health Legal Committee
Lorne Sossin, Professor and Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University
Lana Frado, Executive Director Sound Times Support Services

6-8:30pm: “THE WALLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MAD PEOPLE”
Guided by Friendly Spike Theatre Band
www.globalserve.net/~friendlyspike

Location: Meet outside at the corner of Queen and Shaw

This event is a guided theatrical walk/roll around the Historical Patient Built Wall on the grounds of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). During the 19th Century, walls were built and rebuilt around the grounds of the asylum by unpaid patient labourers. In 2010, memorial plaques dedicated to psychiatric patients’ history were unveiled around this site. By including a lively dimension in the telling of this story, we embody the past in a way that empowers the present.

7-9pm: BONKERS: BOOK LAUNCH
Location: 246 Sackville Street
www.facebook.com/events/365836726860479/

BONKERS is a group mad book launch & reading event!
Come on out! Experience our words and images. Bring cash to pick up one, two or all of these!:

1. Sarafin's latest collection of comics: "Asylum Squad: Monster Hospital".
Price: $15.00
Sarafin's Asylum Squad: Monster Hospital continues the story of Madder and company after they find themselves committed to a notorious psychiatric hospital.

2. Tom ebook: "SCHIZO: Stable Chaos - How I Zeroed Oppression"
Price: $20.00
Tom will be launching his memoir titled SCHIZO, an acronym for Stable Chaos: How I Zeroed Oppression. The memoir covers his near-fatal journey as a successful student through psychiatry and schizophrenia into a Mad identity. He will be reading a portion of his memoir and answering any questions.

*** DAY FOUR: THURSDAY, JULY 11 ***
Where? 246 Sackville Street

12:30-12:45: WOMB RAGE
KERL
A skit using real medical documents in the past describing an unfathomable, womanly, disease called Womb Rage! This project was created for a history of madness course.

1-2:15pm: MAD HISTORY TALK
David Reveille

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Mad Pride, David Reville will give a talk on the history of the mad movement in Toronto, with a particular focus on last 20 years. The major debates and activities which have characterized the movement during this time will be introduced. He will draw from the course he teaches on mad people’s history at Ryerson University. The idea behind this talk is that mad people have a right to know their own history of struggle and resistance.

2:30-3:45pm: THE TOFU AND POTATOES OF MAD PRIDE
Tina Shapiro

In this vegan-friendly look at the nitty gritty of Mad Pride Toronto 2013, we explore: What’s mad? What’s pride? What’s the significance of it being our twentieth anniversary (drawing on Geoffrey Reaume’s article in the C/S Info Bulletin)? How shall we move forward from here? This will be interactive with the audience, especially drawing on the insights of any veterans of the Toronto mad movement who may be in the audience, as a homage to our mad history.

4-6pm: MAD SPIRITUALITY: FAITH, FOOLS, and FELLOWSHIP
www.facebook.com/events/167718406734457

A panel of peers making short presentations followed by open discussion.

• How do we make (non)sense of our madness/distress/visions/voices/ extreme states/alternative realities through spirituality/religion? How do we explain this (or not) to our shrinks and biomedical psychiatry? Do they listen?
• What role do spiritual/religious beliefs, practices, and communities play in our self-care, healing, recovery, wellness, activism, or Mad Pride?
• How do we deal with feeling left out or being kicked out of spiritual/religious communities due to madness? How do we handle feelings of belonging or not belonging in Mad communities due to spiritual/religious beliefs? How can we create more welcoming and inclusive spaces? Where do we find good support?
• How do we provide spiritual care to our peers? What's the relationship between spiritual care and peer support?
• What's the relationship between Mad spirituality and Mad culture?
• What support do we want from spiritual caregivers, religious leaders, religious/spiritual/atheist congregations and communities, healthcare providers, family, friends, allies, peers, consumer/survivor community?


6:30-10:30pm: ARCHITECTURE OF MAD: AN ART EXHIBITION
The name of this exhibition relates to the social construct within which we are deemed mentally ill and Other. The name reflects our desire to reclaim pejorative terms and, in so doing, empowering ourselves. To us, Mad is a great word that describes struggles that most people cannot even imagine, and coming to terms with the fact that we cannot do things in the same way as so called normal people. Instead, we develop new ways in which to do things. We understand that our time-line for getting through life is often interrupted by crises and hospitalizations and that becomes part of who we are. But we regard ourselves as survivors of often intense struggles. Because of this we are powerful.


*** DAY FIVE: FRIDAY, JULY 12 ***
Where? 246 Sackville Street

12:30-2:15pm: MAD THINK TANK SERIES (PART 2):
"If These Walls Could Talk" Film and Discussion
This is a Dream Team sponsored documentary by first time Toronto filmmakers Naomi Berlyne and Sibyl Likely. Inspired by the resilient lives of consumer/survivors they know, Berlyne and Likely sought to document the incredible stories of the ‘patients’ that lived behind the walls of the institution we now know as CAMH. Depending largely on archives and the trailblazing work of Geoffrey Reaume, the film traces the history of CAMH from the mid- 1800’s until the present. The second part of “If These Walls Could Talk” focus on contemporary narratives of Mad People as they discuss the challenges they experienced while hospitalized as well as in society at large. Despite the heavy subject matter, the film ends on a hopeful note with stories of resistance and resilience.

While the filmmakers will be on site to answer audience questions, the Dream Team would like to accompany the film with an interactive discussion about how consumer/survivors continue to challenge the ‘walls’ they face both within the confines of institutions and outside of them.

2:30-3:30pm: THE MURDER OF RACIALIZED PSYCHIATRIC CONSUMER/SURVIVORS BY STATE OFFICIALS IN TORONTO, ONTARIO
Tracy Mack

Since the murder of Edmond Yu 16 years ago, the excessive and lethal force used by Toronto police officers has not ameliorated, resulting in the deaths of eight additional psychiatric consumers/survivors. By analyzing each of these murders it becomes clear that identities that are constructed at the intersection of negative racialization and mental health issues are perceived as dangerous and deviant for who they are and not for what they have done, leading to the excessive and lethal force used by police officers.

3:45-5:45pm: REPORT BACK from THE PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES ANTI-VIOLENCE COALITION

After the death of George Wass in March 2011, community organizers decided not to memorialize, but to take action to end violent attacks in our communities, and to expose the layers of systemic violence that our community members are facing. Two years later, members of PDAC want to share what we’ve been up to with the Mad Pride community. Based on our discussions and research, we have four issues that are important to raise with the community in this political moment. We would like to present these in the form of a panel, with plain language presentations of the facts and politics around each issue.

6-7:15pm: HOW TO TALK TO CRAZY PEOPLE: A BOOK READING BY DONNA KAKONGE

How To Talk To Crazy People is a memoir about Donna Kakonge, an African-Canadian woman, dealing with mental illness during her 20s. A reading of the book will spark a discussion around what is crazy?, should the word crazy even be used?, how do the experiences of people of colour with a mental illness differ from those who are White?

7:30-9:30pm: ALTERED STATES: FILMS TBA

OR
5:30-9:30pm: MAD CULTURE NIGHT
Hosted by Friendly Spike Theatre Band
www.globalserve.net/~friendlyspike

May Robinson Auditorium - 20 West Lodge Avenue

Open stage/mic for mad people to talk, rant, sing, perform, act… Bring your thoughts, script, lyrics, instrument, voice, friends, props – and share your stuff with us!


*** DAY SIX: SATURDAY, JULY 13 ***
Where? TBA

11am-5pm: The Mad Market will go all out this year, some might say even Bizarre! Along with the many mad goods for sale, a myriad of performance artists will take over the market to celebrate their Mad Pride.


Where? Brazen Head Pub, 4th Floor, 165 East Liberty St.

9pm-2am: MAD LOVE Insane in the Brain: A 90's Dance Party
Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Mad Pride and party like it's 1993! Featuring the spins of Rezerex. Free! 19+ Wheelchair accessible



*** DAY SEVEN: SUNDAY, JULY 14 ***
Where? Meet at Parkdale Library

12:30-3pm: PARADE
3-7pm: BBQ - Trinity Bellwoods Park

THE BED PUSH PARADE AND AFTER-PARTY

Celebrating 20 years of Mad Pride! The parade will begin at Parkdale Library at 1303 Queen St W, the site of the first Psychiatric Survivor Pride in 1993. We’ll then march east along Queen Street to Trinity Bellwoods Park for a BBQ! Join us for some speeches, drumming, and a march/roll down the sidewalks of Queen Street W. Bring your costumes, pajamas, hats, mad gear, placards, signs, banners, instruments, children, family, friends – and yourself! There will be food and fun when we arrive at our final destination!


#30#

 

 

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