When someone who hears voices commits a violent crime, it is often reported in the media as if the fact they heard voices is sufficient explanation. Is this true, or is there much more to the story?
In this event, we will explore the way in which responsibility, safety and control is understood and experienced when someone hears voices urging them to harm themselves or others. We are joined by:
Rachel Waddingham (someone with experience of hearing violent voices and not acting on them)
Akiko Hart (London Prisons Project)
Dr David Jones (University of East London)
Dr Ruvanee Vilhauer (New York University, pre-recorded video contribution)
By examining the role of the media in reporting on mental health and violent crime, we will unpick media stereotypes and question the link between violent voices and violent acts.
There will be plenty of space for discussion and interaction as we explore this issue in a safe and respectful environment. All are welcome to attend this free event, but places are limited and should be reserved in advance.
This event will be preceded by a guided tour of the exhibition (3:30-4:30pm). It will be followed by the UK premiere of Jonathan Balazs’s documentary They Heard Voices at Durham’s Empty Shop (from 8pm).
The guided tour and film screening are all free, but places are limited so please book separately for each event.
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.
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 will be installed at Palace Green Library, Durham, UK from 5 November 2016 to 26 February 2017.
For more information please see the exhibition website.