Saturday, 2 September 2017

PRESS RELEASE: LOONIES FEST & ‘SURVIVORS STORIES’


All events are taking place at Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-by-Bow, E3 3HJ
Tube: Bromley-by-Bow
DLR: Bow Church
Buses: 8, 25, D8, 205, 108


LOONIES FEST 
CREATING HEALING LUNACY
10:00 am to 10:00 pm 
Saturday 9 September 2017














ART - PERFORMANCES - MUSIC - ENTERTAINMENT - HEALING - RESPITE

Yes! A Loonies Fest. A Loonies Day.
A event to celebrate and honour people's lunacy, creativity and individuality. An all-day free festival where visual & performing arts, documented mad history and mad culture, will come together under one roof, giving people the opportunity to celebrate & network.
NOT insulting, NOT excluding anyone either (do you exclude mothers from the party, when celebrating father's day?)

The word Loonies needs clarification, as some people still find it to be offensive. We have embraced it and for the past 10 years it has empowered, accepting the fact of being vulnerable, mercurial beings, part of a complex Universe. Read on pls... 


 

The City of London Union Workhouse opened in 1849, housing the poor and the infirm and the staff that cared for them. The institution turned into a psychiatric facility in 1936 and was renamed St Clement's Hospital. 
Since the mid 1950s hospital patients received some support from the official League of Friends. This was a group of individuals that offered a trolley service with library books, newspapers, basic commodities such as sweets and toothpaste. Most importantly inpatients received a bit of sympathy from the Friends, which vastly lacked from the general public in their life outside the asylum.

Inactive for some time the volunteers rejoined and registered the Friends of St Clement's (FoSC) as a charity in 1987, following the concerns of a carer about the treatment of her husband within the hospital. Patients, friends, family members and staff started meeting to discuss what was beneficial and what was harmful in the hospital methods. Chaired by the awesome Myra Garrett, in 1992 Friends of St Clement's established the social club; inpatients run this in the Wandsworth Stanley Hall, coordinated by Hycinth Taylor; the creative writing group started publishing its journal in 1995. 

When in 2005 St Clements Hospital was moved to a new wing in the Mile End Hospital, FoSC temporarily had nowhere where to meet. David Kessel, the poet and campaigner that started the Mental Patients Association  and published the patients' magazine called The Phoenix in the 1980', suggested that the group should reform as a new independent anarchist group, naming it Friends of East End Loonies. FoSC eventually found a new space to carry on their meetings in Mile End Hospital until 2014 when, due to lack of interest or cooperation from staff, caused the group to end. 

Friends of East End Loonies met for the first time in November 2007, at the cafe of the Whitechapel Idea Store. 
One month later FEEL found a permanent meeting space at LARC (London Action Resource Centre). Here regular meetings still take place on the 3rd Monday of each month, to discuss mental health news and plan special events, which are usually held at Kingsley Hall, involving critical and progressive figures that work in the psychiatric field.

Now, ten years on, we are taking the chance to celebrate our past decade spent together producing a special day of activities, entertainment and amusement to counterbalance the misery of life. It's not all about us! It's about everyone surviving a life often troubled by obstacles and difficulties, deserving respite and a safe space where to feel accepted. The untroubled ones are welcome too. 

The LOONIES FEST is a FREE and OPEN day for anyone that, like ourselves, believe in the human and existential rights of diversity in any colours, shapes and shades. Drop the labels and join us in creating the rose garden that we need. 
There might not be many roses in this garden, but being called The Peace Garden sounds reassuring

https://www.facebook.com/pg/kingsleyhallbow/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1144709278963193
So, enough with the past. Time to live the present and live for the future!

LOONIES FEST
PROGRAMME FOR THE DAY
Sat 9th September 10am to 10 pm
(subject to changes on the day)

10:00am OPENING 
-Yoga/Qi Gong fusion followed by drumming circle
11:00am Drumming workshop
12noon-3:00pm:
-MARKET SPACE with stalls by mental health groups and organisations (Main Hall)
WORKSHOPS:
-Thai Boxing Fighters Academy (taster class);
-Singing session (all abilities) with Rona Topaz;
-Poetry drop-in with poet Stephen Watts;
-Wellbeing Workshop with the RECOVERY Assistance Dogs
-HEALING SPACE with a number of masseuse/healers offering taster sessions (by donation) Youth Hall, 1st floor;
3:00-4:00pm: Respite - Tea Break
4:00-6:00pm:  Survivors Voices: Performances by mental health activists: with Dave Skull, Frank Bangay, Dolly Sen, David Kessel, Molly Carroll, Laura Cristin, MC Nick Waller
6:00-6:30pm: Panel Discussion "Healing & Arts & Lunacy" with Dolly Sen, Colin Hambrook, Laura Cristin, Michelle Baharier, Nat Fonnesu.
6:30-7:00pm: Respite - Tea Break
7:00-10:00pm: Second Part Performances & OPEN MIC: Su Patterson, Jazzman John Clarke, Raga Wood, Colin Hambrook, Stephen MICalef, Kym Kovary plus more. MC Razz Poet


How to get to Kingsley Hall (links lead to individual maps):
Stratford Station (Bus D8 Stop W) to Kingsley Hall 15-20 min journey

Massive thanks go to all people that have participated, contributed and helped at FEEL meetings and events over these past TEN years, particularly to Myra Garrett and David Kessel for founding the group in the first place and for being the great support and inspiring figures they still are today.

HUGE thanks to all exhibiting & contributing artists and helpers that, nevertheless the event is not funded, they are still supporting this project and celebrating with us, covering for their costs and transport. 
We invite the Dear audience to be generous in donating during the day, please. Collection boxes will be visibly located :)




Visual Art Exhibition
‘SURVIVORS STORIES’
5th to 19th September 2017





‘SURVIVORS STORIES' is a group exhibition of Artists with lived psychosis/psychiatric hospital experiences.
The show aims to celebrate past and present mental health Survivors, patients, ex-patients, service users (whatever people prefer to be called like).  Among the works on show there will be some pieces from Mary Barnes, which artistic talents flourished while residing at Kingsley Hall as patient in care, during the radical experiment run by the Philadelphia Association community, led by RD Laing between 1965-70 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/sep/02/rd-laing-mental-health-sanity

Works on Show by: Mary Barnes, Patrick Macdonald, TEM POK, Carrie Foulkes, Fatma Durmush, Sophie Marguerite Adams, Rachel Rowan Olive, Sara T'Rula, Michelle Baharier, Pawla, Peter Payne, John Zammit, Sam Shakes, Shelana Hodge, C.F., Kerum Wallwork, Melissa Gunasena, Max Reeves, Klaus Pinter, Colin Hambrook, Mark Allan, Laura Cristin, Gobscure.
Co-curated by Christina Mitrentse & Nathalie Fonnesu


Please note that the show opens on Tuesday the 5th September, 5-7pm.  
The exhibition will be accessible for viewing on the following specific times ONLY: 
-Saturday 9th September, 10am-10pm (Loonies Fest)
-Tuesday 12th + 19th September 4-7pm
-Saturday 16th September 11am-6pm (London Open House event https://openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk/listings/3515)

The Three Bees Cafe will be open most of the above times for delicious homemade cakes and hot drinks (regularly opens only on Tuesdays 4-7pm). Please note that alcohol is not served at the cafe. You are welcome to BYO. Drink sensibly, please.
For queries about the exhibition(only), please contact nat.kingsleyhall@gmail.com

Special thanks for the kind support from Kingsley Hall Community Centre Board and the Three Bees Cafe for allowing the exhibition and the Fest to take place in this exceptional place with their priceless suppor http://kingsley-hall.co.uk/index.htm 


Loonies Fest details: http://bit.ly/2sh1Bbk
Fest FB event page: http://bit.ly/2vgCeEC
Art Show FB event page http://bit.ly/2xEYoBI
PRESS RELEASE http://bit.ly/2eslF1j
Email: f.e.e.l.campaign@gmail.com for more info






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