Grace Ndiritu performance at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in Aubervilliers, France 5.7.16
A Therapeutic Townhall Meeting: Healing the Museum
by Grace Ndiritu
Sarurday 4 June 2016 – at 6 pm sharp
« Man is a social being. Factors such as political conflict, social tension and economic stress affect his mental health. Such factors are at least as important as biological factors. Frantz Fanon paid particular attention to these social problems and his brand of political psychiatry is as relevant today as it was during his time. Alienation and oppression still exist. Unemployment is widespread and tyrannical rulers still oppress their people. Mental illness cannot be solved by drugs but by changes in the political and social order. » H.A. Youssef
For this shamanic performance, Ndiritu invites both participants to take part in A Therapeutic Townhall Meeting. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) meetings which took place in South Africa, which were broadcast on live television as series of 96 episodes beginning in 1996 at the end of apartheid.
For the fourth edition of Printemps des Laboratoires, Ndiritu will use the shamanic tool of soul retrieval within the context of a large public forum, in which a discussion about the rise of mental illness in society and the normalization of antidepressant medication has taken place earlier in the day.
Grace Ndiritu believes that these symptoms are a reflection of the fragmentation of the collective mind, which is currently being enacted through the destruction of the environment, mass human migrations and an increase in global acts of terrorism.
By allowing both actors (victims) and spectators (persecutors) to meet each other on an equal platform, a normally polarized and politically charged dynamic between the two groups is nullified and a balance of power achieved, putting society rather than individuals, on trial.