Workshops: Carnival des Voix – Durham Region – Jun, Jul 2017

Free workshops for those who struggle with experiences like hearing voices that get called names like “psychosis”, and that can be isolating and difficult to live with, and difficult to talk about.

Following on from capacity-building workshops in Durham region in Spring 2017 and the start of Hearing Voices Cafe in Oshawa,  we are working in collaboration with CMHA Durham and Durham Mental Health Services, to pilot innovative new workshops for people who struggle with difficult experiences like hearing voices that get “called psychosis”.

These pilot workshops will be free to attend for anyone who lives with kind of experiences and is looking for a safe environment in which to try new ways of expressing what they experience.

There will be two workshops, one each in Oshawa and Ajax.

CMHA Durham
60 Bond Street West
4th Floor

Contact: Jenn Wynne:  905.436.8760 x103

Post Hill Apartments
2nd floor recreation room
132 Kingston Rd., Ajax 

Aubrey –

Printable poster [pdf]  carnival des voix poster-Durham-Jun-Jul2017


There has been much interest in “avatar therapy”, expensive technology and studies to demonstrate that people who struggle with voices can work with them. Many of us have for a while been doing similar – not as treatment or intervention by others but as creative exploration of experience, expression and emancipation.

– and with much smaller budgets and much simpler technology and without oppressions that accompany waiting on experts to fix us.

This is a real workshop – as real as the voices themselves – participants will use simple materials to sketch and make puppets to represent the voices we hear, and let them speak with each other.

We will create safe space to see and be seen, hear and be heard, witness and be witnessed.

A celebration of the creativity of voices hearers, and variety of human experiences, a polyphony, a Carnival of voices …

After the workshop we will display work and parade in front of the whole of congress and on prominent display for its duration.

There is rich meaning in these [and other] ideas not only for formalized “treatment” situations but also in our groups, in our society and also in our personal experience – HVN is at the forefront of embracing the dialogical -or conversational -nature of being.

Let’s take opportunity that congress offers to share examples of ways we can create space for difficult-to-hear voices – “safe-enough” to dismantle some taboos and barriers, create space safe-enough to explore the carnival of living with voices, with being human.

Dr Vitor Pordeus [of Rio de Janeiro and Montreal] uses theatre: puppetry is a form of theatre, can allow for a person to express and share what is yet now too close, too painful to share.

In “the west” we regard puppetry as firmly in the domain of children’s entertainment, yet around the world it is a ancient, diverse, and serious art form too , puppets, like voices can give expression to that which we cannot easily express in our society or culture at least in ways others are prepared to hear.

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