In the world today, madness is undoubtedly present: one either forms part of it or trivializes what a panic attack or depression can be. Unwellness seems to be reduced to a private and personal matter, as if it was possible to simply decide to suffer and not stay in line with the arbitrary notion of what is normal. In addition, attention is diverted away from the political implications of a series of disorders typical of our age, and that, rooted in the precarious conditions of our current lives, turns our existence into an anxious one, with constant stress and a threat of never-ending suffering.
As part of the A Possible Strength: Towards a Poietics of Living Together activities program, this reading group and collective reflection emerge with the goal of revisiting a past that reverberates in the present: from Jacques Lacan and his intuition on illness capitalism, language, and bodies, to the developments and possibilities of being-another, touching on alternative psychiatry, communal experiences, reforms to the assistance to the ill since the 1970s, and finally the current intersection of biology and neo-liberalism, in the twilight of the welfare state, where pain and death are become primordial vectors in new bio-political reasoning.
The proposed series of texts and films seeks to delve into possibilities opened up decades ago by a number of militant-researchers that worked, not only on language and images, but also on the body. On sharing certain physical and psychological symptoms, they were able to show that they are also common. As such, the group looks not only to find discursive negotiation, but also to address different practices, geared towards an exercise in enunciation that imagines new forms of insurrection and revolt.
This workshop is directed to professionals or users of mental health, to interested and affected persons, diagnosed and non-diagnosed, and at those interested in this way of managing this experience.
Amador Fernández Savater. Independent researcher and political and cultural activist. He also is editor of Acuarela Libros and habitual collaborator with eldiario.es. He has recently published, among others, the Yippie! titles Una pasada de revolución (2015) and Fuera de lugar: Conversaciones entre crisis y transformación (2013).
Guillermo Rendueles. Psychiatrist and essay writer. His works are centered on orthodox psychiatry criticism, social theory, and radical politics. Among his most recent publications are El manuscrito encontrado en Ciempozuelos: análisis de la historia clínica de Aurora Rodríguez (2018) and Las falsas promesas psiquiátricas (2017).
Franco Castignani. Political scientist and independent researcher. His principal areas of interest analyze mutations in contemporary labor, new sensitivities, and the politicization of unwellness.
La Rara Troupe. Thought, reflective, and creative collective dealing with mental health since 2012 in the Department of Education and Cultural Action at the Museum of Contemporary Art of León (MUSAC). Composed of persons diagnosed and non-diagnosed with mental health related illnesses, their activity is based on using audiovisual creation in auto-representation and first-person narration.
Montserrat Rodríguez Garzo. Psychoanalyst, researcher, and exhibition curator. She is co-author of numerous volumes, including the catalog for the Apuntes para una psiquiatría destructiva (Sala de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid, 2017) exhibition, co-written with Alfredo Aracil, and the book Esquizofrenias y otros hechos de lenguaje. De la clínica analítica del MACBA (2015), with Darío Corbeira.