Social Crisis! Mental Crisis! – Hospital for Self Medication

The Hospital for Self Medication is situated in a space in the attic above artist Jakob Jakobsen’s apartment in Copenhagen. It is an ad hoc space for experimentation into therapy as well as a critical forum for developing a new vocabulary in the space between art and sickness. The idea of opening a hospital emerged when Jakobsen was admitted in the official hospital for a period of three months. Being there it became clear to him that he needed another hospital. We need another hospital. One that is open for experimentation in care and treatment. Not only regarding mental illness, but for all kinds of illness and disabilities that lack representation and integration in this world of relentless productivist ableism. Give us a break.

‘Social Crisis! Mental Crisis!’  is a series of conversations on Communism and Mental Health in times of pandemia between the artists Sophie Carapetian based in London and Jakob Jakobsen based in Copenhagen. The show features occasional guests.

 

No. 1

This is the first episode of a series of conversations between the artists Sophie Carapetian based in London and Jakob Jakobsen based in Copenhagen around the issue of mental health during quarantine.

Jakobsen and Carapetian have both experienced lock-down within the psychiatric system and felt that reflecting on the experience of being isolated within the strict regime of the hospital could be useful in times of general quarantine. States of isolation and seperation have been the norm for some time for many people due to capitalist order. The artists suggest a movement of the idle, the lazy, the drop outs, as a resistance strategy against the return of neoliberal normal.

 

No. 2

Jakobsen and Carapetian discuss coping during isolation. Not coping with capitalism, but coping in ways that disrupts the status quo of capitalism.

 

 

No. 3

Reflections on the notion of care, both within the psychiatric ward as well as within a communist perspective. Jakobsen and Carapetian talk about care as reproductive labour within the strict hierarchy of the hospital in contrast to communist mutual care within self-organised hospitals and clinics.

 

 

No. 4

Listen to the fourth episode on disability. This time Jakobsen and Carapetian have invited visual artist Anja and sex worker Nilufer Guler to join them. Anja makes art and does informal communist research in Oakland, California, Nulifer is living in London where Carapetian also is based. Jakobsen is joining the conversation from Copenhagen. They talk about disability and work and our dependencies on capitalist time.

 

 

No. 5 – MayDay Special!

Listen to our MayDay Special on work. Fuck work, fuck the unions! Let’s unionise the poor, the paperless, the mentally ill, the idle, the migrants, the curriers, the Amazon workers, the sex workers, the unemployed, the disabled – or nothing!

 

 

No. 6

Medication is the theme of the 6th episode. The artists discuss what all the psychopharma we take do to us, how they change our personalities and disrupt our wellbeing. They speak of how pills are ideological apparatuses solely aimed at making us able to attend work Monday mornings and feel nothing.

 

 

No. 7

For the seventh broadcast Jakobsen and Carapetian are joined by their comrade Silvia Federici. Together they sketch out commonalities between social and historical processes of exclusion – in the form of the witch-hunt, and the contemporary apparatuses of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment of all those pathologised as mentally ill and clinically insane. The broadcast draws on both scholarly and first hand experiential knowledge situating the violence of social exclusion in the contexts of gender, race, and class formation, and as a necessary structural condition of the reproduction of capital.

 

 

No. 8

For the eighth broadcast Jakobsen and Carapetian are joined by their comrade Sacha Kahir. Together they discuss the difficult subject of suicide. The conversation explores suicide as bound up with, and as a result of social and economic processes – they discuss this against normative understandings of suicide that emphasise the failure of an individual life. The conversation proposes new ways of thinking through the phenomena of suicide: they ask instead what does it mean to be suicided by society? The artists place emphasis on the relations between capitalism, suicide and proletarian life. This episode is dedicated to a fallen and dearly loved comrade Sean Bonney, a poet who refused, opposed and resisted austerity, refusing to accept the imiserating relations of capitalism. Who, along with other poets mentioned in the discussion and innumerable victims suicided by a society built on status and profit, they demand justice that can only be its abolition. As this is a huge topic the episode offer only some initial steps… staggering and stammering in that direction.