Cindy Lou Griffith Video Collection
Cindy Lou Griffith is a graduate of Emily Carr University Of Art And Design. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC.
The political context of Cindy’s video pieces is her strong emphasis on historical, and interview-based documentation of the Psychiatric Survivor Movement, its activists and allies. The inquiry, informed as art-practice, threads into her interior life; and its integral function in images and memory and the lived experience of psycho spiritual events.
Song for my father and the interviews with Pat Capponi and Andrew Feldmar are Cindy’s three-part Deconstructing Psychiatry Series.
The videos in this collection were created by Cindy between 2001 and 2004.
Cindy Lou Griffith – Personal Statement
By self directed research and inquiry into both the public and private space of the psychiatric survivor driven notion of experience based evidence; the work produced disrupts the postmodern view of psychiatry, determined by the biomedical model, as the dominant cultural interpreter of madness.
I feel an affinity to the personal/political identity named “psychiatric survivour” through a familial connection. My father was psychiatrized, first in the 1950s and throughout his adult life. My inquiry into the Mad Movement began in film school following the death of my father in 1998. One of my earliest films, “Song for My Father,” commemorates his ordeals, and documents Vancouver’s 2001 Mad Pride Rally. The event features seminal trailblazers of the Mad Movement and the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.
In 2004, I traveled to Berlin, Germany and met with organizers of The Runaway House, a non-coercive community, with working alternatives to psychiatry in practice. Here, residents may live through personal crises with support of staff, who have a background of lived experience.
In 1977, I experienced the phenomena of a psycho spiritual event. This event followed and preceded the news of the death of my brother. Eventually, I began to see into the wound as viewed through arts based inquiry and auto-ethnography. Here is my witness, speaking by a symbiote consciousness emergent in this poetic inquiry:
my alternate skull
free of reasoning well I pass along borders marked by alternate steps
my skin sheds a shelter shedding onto me
my skull – enclosing brain:
trace (an echo)
between existence and being
even air moves to announce the wind