Don’t forget about the mad!

17:00 - 19:00
zondag, 27 oktober 2019

Voorstraat 71
3512 AK Utrecht



In a time where building walls predominates as the response to social insecurity, another fence is being built right around the corner of Utrecht. The Feared Other that is now to be kept out, are psychiatric inmates of a forensic-psychiatric clinic in Den Dolder.
Fear has increased since the rape and murder of a local young woman, which was attributed to ‘mental illness’ rather than to the distorted tendencies of a patriarchal society. Since this terrible incident, even inpatients chilling in the streets was considered as ‘scary’. Every abnormal behavior was nervously reported to the police or municipality.
Discrimination and fear is a red line crossing through the lives of many people diagnosed as ‘mentally ill’ – we ourselves prefer the term ‘neuro-diverse’. Not being wanted in the public space, being shunned, rejection for housing, and so on.
Are neuro-diverse people a danger to society? Karlijn Roex, a neuro-diverse sociologist and activist, turns the question the other way: how dangerous is this fearful society to neuro-diverse people?

Karlijn wrote a book on the recent escalation of a Dutch public debate that presents neuro-diversity as a dangerous nuisance. How is this moral panic related to capitalism, neoliberalism, and to government and hierarchy in general? Why is the struggle for neurodiversity, and ‘mad liberation’, interlinked to an anticapitalist and antigovernment struggle?
In this talk (in English) Karlijn will outline some key ideas from the book and provoke some thinking-through about these issues. It will not be theoretical talk only. Karlijn will elaborate on her own experiences as well (just as happens in the book), such as arbitrarily being stopped by police.
There will be much room for discussion.

More about the book (in Dutch):