SPELLBOUND #7 | Unsafe Bodies


Workshop with
Nadine Hartmann | Clio Nicastro | Hannah Proctor


“Suddenly your body reacts to everything around you like a Geiger counter…”

Please join us for a discussion of gender, sickness, and the emergence of mysterious symptoms in suburbia. The session will explore how mental states can manifest themselves elusively on the body, how social environments and the interior spaces of the home can have strange physiological counterparts, how even the most immaculate or secure seeming domestic spaces might become literally or figuratively poisonous, and how experiences of illness can make people relate to their habitual lives and contexts in completely different ways. At a moment when the realities of physical contagion are overlapping with existing social forces and political anxieties, we will look at examples from film and film theory about sicknesses whose aetiologies are unknown, sicknesses that may have been caused by nothing, by something inside ourselves, or by anything or everything in a potentially toxic world.

Since places are limited, please send an email to mail@diffrakt.space to register and receive the reading material.

Spellbound: Mass Hysteria, Collective Symptoms, Contagious States

Series organised by
Nadine Hartmann | Clio Nicastro | Hannah Proctor

This event series explores experiences of collective mental contagion. Probing the boundaries between the psychic and the physiological, the natural and the supernatural, the social and the spiritual, the events will focus on often mysterious mass psychic phenomena such as hypnosis, fainting fits, possession, the ‘mimetic’ dimension of hysteria and eating disorders, the regimentation of gesture and trances. How do certain kinds of collective behaviours or experiences take hold and spread among groups? Do conditions with no clear biological origin have their roots in society? What do mass symptoms express?

Spellbound usually takes the form of events in thematic pairs: a screening night followed by a reading and discussion night. Although the two nights in each pair will be conceptually linked they also function as stand alone events.