Jonathan Balazs is filmmaker and photographer based in Toronto. Much of his work is informed by issues surrounding mental health and psychiatric labels. His documentary film, "They Heard Voices," continues the spirit of investigation by looking at schizophrenia and often medically biased language of hallucinations and delusional thinking. For an "illness" with no cure, pathology or consistent treatments, it is surprising that the label has persisted for over a century. By challenging assumptions about the disorder, the film attempts to provide clarity on issues surrounding psychosis, schizophrenia's historical significance, the Hearing Voices (HV) movement and the diversity of human experience. With filming locations in Canada, Britain, Scotland and the United States, Balazs interviews experts across the gamut of psychiatric expertise; medical historians, anthropologists, patients, ex-patients and psychiatrists.
This event is part of the linked programme of events around Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday, a major exhibition on voice-hearing produced by Hearing the Voice and Palace Green Library.
The exhibition will be installed at Palace Green Library, Durham, UK from 5 November 2016 to 26 February 2017. For more information please see http://hearingvoicesdu.org
About Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday
Hearing a voice in the absence of any speaker is one of the most unusual, complex, and mysterious aspects of human experience. Typically regarded, as a symptom of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, voice-hearing is increasingly recognized as an important part of many people’s lives and experience, as well as a phenomenon that has had profound significance, not only for individuals, but across communities, cultures, and history.
From the revelatory and inspirational voices of medieval mystics to those of imaginary friends in childhood, and from the inner voices of writers as they craft their characters to the stories of people from the international Hearing Voices Movement, this exhibition will explore the complexity and diversity of the experience and interpretation of voice-hearing.
This exhibition draws on the work of Hearing the Voice, a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing based at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday is installed at Palace Green Library from 5 November 2017 to 26 February 2017.