On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry and Resistance

A research, performance and exhibition project in multiple chapters

Ultrasanity. On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry and Resistance is not meant to be a romanticization of madness or mental illness, but an effort to reconsider and challenge the notion of madness and the stigmas labelled on the so-called mad. The aim of the project is to move beyond insanity as the opposite of sanity, and imagine a space beyond what is understood as sane, i.e. ultrasanity.

This research, performance and exhibition project, will take up the challenge of exploring contemporary concepts and forms of cross– and trans-cultural psychoanalyses and psychiatry beyond a Western rationalization, but situated within the context of the coloniality and colonial subjugation, racialisation, patriarchal oppression and objectification. Through the medium of exhibitions, performances, invocations and publications, the project will deliberate on the different trajectories through which psychopathologies, especially but not limited to the non-Western, could be understood. In this effort, we will explore the philosophical notions of ‘bios’ and personhood within different societies, cogitate on how they unfold concepts of madness and integrate or discharge the mentally stable or unstable within their societies.

Essentially, the project demands a reconsideration of the concept of madness as ultrasanity, reflect on the relationship between sanitation and sanity as constructs. We will look at the construction of madness as othering process, madness as, on the one hand result of suppressions of all sorts, but on the other hand space of resistance to oppressions. This project will allow us to look at the gendered, classed and racialised motors that produce and frame what is called madness and mental insanity.

We will concern ourselves with a possibility of liberating madness from the stigmas that have come to connote it, without romanticization.