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24th November, 2015

Dear Nise: Method, Madness and Artistic Occupation at a Psychiatric Hospital in Rio De Janeiro

Event Details

24th November, 2015
K6.63 King's Building Strand Campus

In 1995 the Brazilian psychiatrist Nise da Silveira wrote seven letters to the 17th Century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The heroine of Brazil’s anti-asylum movement and former colleague of Carl Jung used her correspondence with Spinoza to reflect on the interconnections between science, art and ethics. Professor Paul Heritage and Dr Silvia Ramos have written three letters to Nise da Silveira, contemplating the questions raised by her life and work in relation to experiments in applied performance taking place in the hospital in Rio de Janeiro which now bears her name and where she established the Museum of Images of the Unconscious. These letters share with Nisa da Silveira news about the Brazilian immunologist, cultural psychiatrist, medical doctor and theatre-maker Vitor Pordeus who has created the Hotel and Spa of Madness alongside hospital wards that still house patients with chronic psychosis. Described by Dr Pordeus as a centre for culture, health and transcultural , the Hotel hosts a wide range of artistic and cultural activities with the direct participation of acute psychiatric patients, as well as professional actors, painters, dancers, directors, poets, educators and graffiti artists. Heritage will also discuss a fourth letter written to Nise da Silveira by Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (aka Dr Pordeus) which insists there is indeed a method in madness.

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