What is Divergence: A Festival of Madness
Divergence is a week long Festival of Madness. It aims to provide a space for Mad people, to connect, celebrate, showcase and share the richness of their lives, to one another and also the wider community. We want sane folk to have an opportunity to witness our diversity and have an opportunity to see what we as divergent people bring to the world.
First held in 2019, the festival combines art, performance, conversation, activity and education to bring a celebration of Mad lives to the community. The theme for 2019 was Mad Wisdom, and this year we are excited to announce the discussion will be on Unboxed Lives.
We want to invite all people whose lives are touched by Mad experiences, regardless of how they identify these experiences, across culture, age, gender, basically for everyone to join in the celebrations.
What is thie theme for 2020?
In 2020 the theme for Divergence is Unboxed Lives. This theme talks of the experience of traveling in a way that does not fit the societal understanding of what is typical. To not fit in the box of our communities can be uncomfortable and shaming, which means we see ourselves as not acceptable, deficient or broken. These messages are staunchly conveyed by the pathologising of human distress and difference.
Yet, while our experiences can be hugely challenging to ourselves and also to those who are in relationship with us, our way of being brings with it benefits that our communities have not traditionally been given to the opportunity to connect with. The story told about us is not of strengths and contributions, only of the things ‘wrong’ about us. Learning to hold both truths about our experiences, the joy and the challenge, is vital for us to learn to live our fullest lives, to develop into all who we want to be.