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Workshop: Reshaping The Stories That Make Us

September 27, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

This workshop, inspired in part by Rachel Aviv’s book Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us, aims to curate a tactile and participatory exploration of individuals’ relationships to their medical archive. Co-created among the body, the medical care team, and the patient’s behavior, medical documents offer a specific, medicalized perspective on the patient’s experience that doesn’t always reflect the story that person would tell. 

In pursuit of re-inserting the patient’s voice as an authority over their medical experience, this workshop, led by memoirist and medical professional Theresa Brown, R.N., will guide participants through  a process of breaking down medical documents & rearranging the given words, thus allowing them to examine the interplay between a medicalized and a personal understanding of their bodymind’s experience. In transitioning sterile documentation to open artistic interpretation, participants in this workshop are able to transform “prescribed” material into something uniquely reflective of them.

Participants are encouraged to bring paperwork or documentation from their own medical/health-related experiences* (eg. the paperwork you get when you pick up a prescription, summary notes from a doctor visit, etc.), OR other meaningful documentation they feel connects to and/or describes their medical experience (dictionary definitions, DSM-5 requirements, articles, etc.) There will also be printed DSM descriptions of common mental health conditions (ex. generalized anxiety, OCD, depression) available for participants to work with.

*If participants are bringing their own documents, they should be photocopies or documents that participants are comfortable cutting apart.

Don’t miss Rachel’s program Examining Diagnosis & Identity, on September 26! You can purchase your own copy of Rachel’s book, Strangers to Ourselves, at City of Asylum Bookstore.

About Your Visit: 

The workshop will be held in the Word Cellar at Alphabet City

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September 27, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Program Category:


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
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