WHAT IS DEEP SPACE MIND?
Deep Space Mind is an emerging collaborative effort rooted in the celebration of madness, insanity, joy, and emotion, as well as all the ways every day people in the city of Philadelphia work to promote mental wellness in their communities on their own terms.
Our aim is to highlight, cultivate, and document grassroots mental wellness systems in communities where institutions are pitched as the only suitable option.
We will be working with healers who walk their own recovery journeys and who represent communities and collectives already working to create and sustain wellness where they live.
We want Deep Space Mind to serve as a space of liberation and decolonization around what it means to be mentally well, mentally ill, insane, or happy.
We want Deep Space Mind to provide a space where healers who journey through recovery themselves can experiment, vision alternative realities, build power, and create community with new friends from around the city.
We want to document the work of Philadelphia healers and their alternative wellness mechanisms in a book called DSM.215, to be launched to the community in a mental health awareness art exhibit next May 2020.
We want to elevate all participants as artists, visioners, and experts in this project.
Deep Space Mind seeks healing workers with lived experience of mental health challenges to join our collective and promote community-driven wellness practices.
We would like to gather local healers twice a month throughout the Fall and Winter of 2019 for workshops exploring the past, present, and future of mental health for ourselves and our communities.
Connect with us here.
Join us at a gathering here.
What topics will be covered during workshops?
Workshops will take a futuristic, particularly afro-futuristic perspective that combines science around the brain; local, folk, and academic philosophy; historical explorations of the field of psychiatry, psychology, and social services; cultural explorations of our own beliefs around insanity and madness; and new innovations in mental health work, including those we concoct together
Topics to be covered include: Ancestral Trauma and DIY Genetic Engineering; Mental Disorder or Alternative Realities; Insanity's Gifts; Time Travel and Remembering the Future
What do you mean by 'lived experience'? What is a mental health challenge?
Lived experience of mental health challenges means: Any mental, psychological, emotional, neurological, spiritual or personal experience, that has made you feel or become labeled or stigmatized.
You may have been called [or call yourself] terms such as:
diagnosed with ________
or you may have been told you require hospitalization, medication, confinement, isolation, a change in where you live, special accommodations. You may have had to miss school or work because of these experiences.
You do not have to have a formal diagnosis to participate in Deep Space Mind 215.
What is a 'healer?' What is 'healing justice?'
I can't make it to in-person workshops. Can I find other ways to participate in this project?
Definitely. We understand people are busy and have to protect and maintain their health. We want to meet local healers where they're at. You can get involved by:
Submitting content for the DSM.215 print publication. We want local organic healing practices, responses to our community prompts, and art
Submitting art work to our Mental Health Awarenesss Month art exhibit in May 2020. Stay tuned for a call for submissions
Inviting DSM.215 to collaborate on mental wellness advocacy and organizing
Why should me or my org get involved?
We hope Deep Space Mind can help you and your community strengthen and advance mechanisms for wellness. We want to do that by:
Providing space for healers with lived experience to explore and experiment with their own definitions of healing to strengthen their own practices
Providing a platform for local healers to highlight their work to stakeholders in the city
Documenting for practitioners and for the historical record that local communities have always and will continue to develop and maintain structures for mental health outside of mainstream services.
Strengthening a network of local healers for solidarity, advocacy, and emotional support
Deep Space Mind is project developed and facilitated by Ras Cutlass. Ras is local sci-fi writer, artist, licensed social worker, and founding member of Metropolarity. She is also a survivor of the psychiatric system and lives with multiple diagnoses.
DSM was first facilitated in 2015 in Rotterdam Netherlands as part of WORM Rotterdam's Afrofuturism Now! Festival. Since then, DSM has been practiced in multiple times Philly, Detroit, New York City.
In 2019 Ras was awarded the Blade of Grass Fellowship which allowed for the expansion of the workshop into an extended art for social justice project.
Writer, healer, and mother Dominique Matti joined DSM 215 as a project associate in the Spring of 2019.