Remaining shows are on 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28 and 29 November 2020 . Time frames are varied - Fri & Sat 5pm; Sun 4pm & 11pm, Mon 11am AEDT, UK Showing 12pm GMT, US Showing 7pm EST. It's 50 mins long and being online, a 100% physical distance rating. When choosing your pay what you feel ticket price, keep in mind that the Arts Industry has undergone a mammoth slump in jobs and income, so please be supportive. The suggested price is $20, but your generosity will be most appreciated. If you watched the show and paid later, in all honesty, you'd conclude the show is far more valuable than the suggested price.
On Sunday 29 Nov 2020 screening will be followed by a
LIVE Q&A with the Artists after the 5pm Show
Sincerely Survivor is Grace Dance's first work exploring and delving into Mental Health Advocacy through The Arts. Be warned that the show contains potentially triggering content or themes, including mental distress, emotional abuse, institutional abuse and self-harm or suicide. If you're in mental health crisis, contact Lifeline on 131114. See here for Mental Health Resources Australia, and here for US and UK Mental Health Resources.
This show explores what often goes unsaid and unfelt here in Australia. Inspired by submissions to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System; the experience of mental illness and institutionalisation is rehumanised through dance. All stories told of people with lived experience of mental health are shared with full permission from their owners and has given a voice to the voiceless, which is a core ingredient in advocacy work.
It's a piece well researched and danced with feeling and understanding of the core subject. The location and backdrop of scenes are perfection in their bare bones and state of decay that sings simultaneously with the subject matter. It's sparse and vacant, yet stifling and constricted, and concentrates of J Ward - Asylum for the Criminally Insane - Ararat; Aradale Lunatic Asylum; and Stawell Pleasant Creek Hospital.
This show requires your full attention to absorb and feel all that is conveyed with great conviction. Lose yourself in its vacancy, loneliness, stillness, sense of loss, at times manic movements, clawing at imaginary substances, or simply just living to inhale and exhale. It's where people are dehumanised and brutalised, marginalised, monopolised, patronised, penalised, scandalised, terrorised, victimised, minimalised - so may damn lies.
Smothered, restrained, held back, shackled with no voice, suffocating, feeling cut off and forgotten, no trust, no faith, no hope, feeling defeated, beaten down by the system. Previously flying and just wanting to feel normal again. Not feeling ok; grieving, feeling like a criminal, yet not knowing what they've done - these are the voices, voices of survivors that need to be listened to, heard, respected, amplified. A haunting one sided phone call with vacant family members and loved ones paints a picture of out of sight, out of mind - there's sadness.
There needs to be more compassion, more listening, more care, room to breathe, civility, inclusion, advocacy, more opportunities, consumer leadership, government funding, support, community engagement, empathy; a journey of the human spirit, instead of the violence of a clinical system. Everyone needs to see mental health as essential to the wellbeing of a society and not dismissed as a cavalierly end treated with disrespect.
The pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront and shone a light on the fragility in all humans. It's an issue that needs all of us on board to advocate for a better system for when we need it; for the future of mental health to be interactively and humanely managed; sensitive to our needs. To be assured there's a good system of inclusion in place. Not one that's problematic and fraught with red tape and without flexibility.
This work of Art manages to jog our conscience to not forget those forgotten by the system. Anyone of us could need the support of this system in the future, hence it pays to ensure it runs smooth as honey for the mental health and wellbeing of all. It needs full support and funding from the government as mental health I dare say is equally if not more so important than physical health; for our bodies would not function without our minds. Step up and advocate every time the opportunity arises.