Irit Shimrat

Artist: Samantha Franco
Year: 2016
Medium: Video
Artist Statement: Irit Shimrat is a successful writer, psychiatric survivor advocate, speaker and activist. She describes herself as an escaped lunatic, one who has survived various psychiatric diagnoses, hospitalizations and a large number of forced psychiatric treatments. Shimrat is the author of the book “Call Me Crazy: Stories from the Mad Movement”, which is part self-help guide, part history of the “mad movement”, and part personal journey. Irit Shimrat is a motivating and faithful example of survival, achievement and resistance. Her story is passionate, and her drive is empowering. I was inspired to create a contemporary dance piece depicting the evolution of Irit’s journey into an outspoken activist. Shimrat teaches us that sometimes the best help comes from those who have been there. Help comes from a listening ear, rather than a syringe or being forcefully strapped to a bed.