Sunday, 1 October 2017

…on the mustering of ‘effective antagonisms’

First of all here’s a poem by Amy Lowell called Superstition

I have painted a picture of a ghost

Upon my kite,
And hung it on a tree.
Later, when I loose the string
And let it fly,
The people will cower
And hide their heads,
For fear of the God
Swimming in the clouds.

Medical Notes and Songbirds: improving children's lives through music in hospital
A seminar examining the benefits of music making for children in hospital as delivered by Lime Music for Health at The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and evaluated by the Salford School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Thursday 5th October 10-12pm, hosted by the Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy and CYP@Salford. For full details of this FREE event click HERE.

Arts Council England Grants for the Arts
Grants for the Arts is the ACE open access funding programme for individuals, art organisations and other people who use the arts in their work. It offers awards from £1,000 to £100,000 to support a wide variety of arts-related activities, from dance to visual arts, literature to theatre, music to combined arts. Grants for the Arts is a rolling programme with no deadlines. Decisions on applications for £15,000 or less take six weeks. Decisions on applications of over £15,000 take 12 weeks. Click HERE.

Connected Communities Innovation Fund (England)
A new £4 million fund has been launched to encourage more people to volunteer alongside public services, and inspire new ways of giving for those who haven't previously volunteered. The fund has a specific focus on helping those aged 50 and over, those who want to give time infrequently rather than routinely, and those who want to give their time and skills from the comfort of their own home to good causes. The Connected Communities Innovation Fund has identified four priority areas it wants to support, these are:
Bringing communities closer to create shared resources and support one and other
Supporting community resilience in emergencies
Improving the environment
Creating new forms of digital social action.
Approximately 15-20 organisations or partnerships will supported through this funding round. To apply, organisations need to submit an expression of interest be midday on the 30th October 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend and applicants workshop. Read more HERE.

Gannett Foundation Grants
The Gannett Foundation, which is the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc., owner of the Newsquest Media Group, one of the UK's largest newspaper publishers, is inviting applications to support projects that benefit the local community. Applications are welcome for specific items of equipment, anything from a box of toys for disadvantaged children, to sophisticated medical equipment for cancer research. Applications must be by registered charities. The grants available can be up to £10,000. Please note that grants are not available for salaries, professional fees or day-to-day running or maintenance costs, general appeals, political or religious objectives, state or privately-run schools (other than special needs), hospitals (other than hospices) or projects that do not bring benefits to the local community.

Groups that have received an award from the Foundation within the last two years cannot apply this year. The closing date for applications is the 9th October 2017. Applications need to be submitted via the local Newsquest Media Group papers. For more information click HERE. 

What a week
- and frustrating to be leaving just as the Big Anxiety begins in earnest! But as well as soaking up some of the people and work that really have kick-started this festival - it’s been an honour to be a part of its opening and having two nicely attended auditoriums at the Museum of Contemporary Art for dis/ordered, and launched a new book Critical Care - it’s been time wonderfully spent. It really is the largest scale arts and mental health festival of its kind globally and wonderfully devoid of hierarchy, blurring the boundaries between artists, scientists and people - everyday humans with all their wonderful textures.

This is a major achievement mixing research and exchange. I was blindsided by a wonderfully
‘awkward conversation’ with the supremely articulate Alessandro Donagh-De Marchi and together we discussed our shared experiences and thoughts around suicide. What could have been the darkest and most unsettling conversation was instead nuanced and alive with ideas and exchange - and ways in which we all might support each other and ourselves in extremis. Superb and thank you.  

Here’s a thought from Robert Walser in Jakob von Gunten

With all my ideas and follies I could one day found a corporate company for the propagation of beautiful but unreliable imaginings.

For those of you just chomping at the bit to get your hands on a copy of Critical Care, it’s available in Australia right now, and in mid December there’ll be copies in the UK. In short, I’ve been working with, and observing the work of social artist Vic McEwan over the last few years, whilst he’s been exploring sound and much more at Alder Hey. I see it as an unfolding story and a gentle illumination of the relationships in and around such a sensitive area as paediatric intensive care. But it has arts and health running through its core, like a stick of Blackpool rock and perhaps it might just offer a counter blast to the prevailing cult of standardisation, econometrics and scientism within our community of practice - research and activism.

For those of you in Australia who were particularly interest in getting a copy of my script for dis/ordered; as I mentioned, I’m not publishing anything from it at the moment, but I’ve set out some of the key reference material from my more belligerent research section. These are below, and I hope are useful in digital links.

Thanks for such lovely feedback. Without a second thought, I dedicated my film (and all its music) to Mark Fisher whom I cited shamelessly in my ‘performance’. So here’s that list of some of my key references as promised, but let’s cut to the quick - here’s the first thing I read by him - and like the other links to him below, you’ll see just why I’m pissed off not to have had the opportunity to have known him. (Thanks AR for introducing me to his work)

Finally let’s not forget dear old Fyodor Dostoevsky who in Notes from Underground fired a warning shot against the reduction of our universe to mechanical laws, instead urging us to embrace irrationality to salvage our very selves. 

Twice two makes four is an excellent thing, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.

Toodle Pip!


Three Francis Galton Links:
Three Generation of Lunatic Cats

A Statistical Inquiry into the Efficacy of Prayer

Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences

Obsession - A History, Lennard J Davis

Stephen Metcalf - Neoliberalism: The idea that Swallowed the World

Peter Kinderman et al - Drop the Language of Disorder

Gary Greenberg - Manufacturing Depression

Three by Mark Fisher Capitalist Realism  

Why mental health is a political issue 
Good for Nothing 

Oliver James - The Selfish Capitalist,

Dr Margaret McCartney - The Patient Paradox

My reflections on coerced sterilisation in the 20th century were taken from the website Independent Lens and the article by Lisa Ko

Stephen Jay Gould - a definition of Biological Determinism

The Christian think-tank, Theos published a research report on Christinaity and Mental Health HERE. 

References to genetic home testing were taken from the websites of Thriva, 23andme and Psynomics Inc.


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