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Eliah Lüthi

I love to bring some Mad into my own and other wor(l)ds and perspectives, doing so through conversations, everyday life, performances, writing, teaching, short movies and research. In my work I explore the connection of saneism and trans*discrimination and reflect how my experiences inside and outside of psychiatric systems, have been influenced by me being Mad and agender, just as much as by my white and and class-privileges. Since 2019 I am doing this under the name Akademie der Unvernunft (Academia of Unreason) — a Mad empowerment project based in Austria, which moves between activism, academia and arts.

In the last years, I was busy editing the anthology BeHindert & VerRückt Worte_Gebärden_Bilder finden (Disabled & Mad: Finding our own Words_Signs_Images), which will be published very soon, in summer 2020 (Yay!!!). And I am currently finishing my thesis at the University of Innsbruck, with a focus on Mad Studies.
The Website:
The Book:
The Research:

For the Gallery of the Criposium, I submit two short movies.

[image description 1: This image is a still from the film “Potato Salad. Or: Assisted Living. Or: How Little it Takes, to Not Be Taken Seriously Anymore”. The image contains of two layers. The first layer shows two faces. They are drawn with pencil and ink, grey on white. The left person is wearing a hoody and looks straight to the audience. One eyebrow is slightly raised. The person to the right has a cap on and looks a bit off-camera, slightly into the direction of the left person. The second layer of the image is transparent. It shows an enlarged version of the second face, only mouth, nose and eyes fit into the screen.]

[image description 2: This image is a still from the film “At the Airport”. The image has a cold and blueish light and is taken inside of a building. It shows a long corridor. In this corridor are two transparent glass boxes. The one in the front has a wheelchair-symbol on it. In this box is a person standing, wearing two shoes, shorts, a dark shirt and short brown hair. In front of the box, on the right side wall is a black door with a wheelchair-symbol next to it.]

Potato Salad. Or: Assisted Living. Or: How Little it Takes, to Not Be Taken Seriously Anymore (2020/ German with English subtitles/ 5min)

[Movie description: This movie is drawn with pencil and ink, grey on white. It tells a story about assisted living and how quickly – in the perception of others – one can shift from a peer to someone who cannot be trusted or taken seriously. It tells this story on the example of a fellow student of mine. Their percpeption of me shifted rapidly, when they found out, that I was – at this time – dependent on assisted living. One moment, I was a person to share future plans, dreams and visions with. In the next moment, I wasn’t event trusted to decide for myself, if I want to have potato salad or not. It is as well a story about turning away from harmful external ascription and finding support in other places.]

At the airport (2020/ German with English subtitles/ 5min)

[Movie description: This movie reflects on the societal categories of gender, disability/madness and religion or race. The footage is taken inside an airport and held in cold colors. It mostly shows empty airport buildings, sometimes groups of people walking by and often the narrator telling their story or standing alone in this space. The narrator describes a situation at the security-check where they were pulled over for an extended security check. They were temporarily physically unable to interact or move, but still heard people talking. The narrator describes how in this situation, they were explicitly addressed or talked about as madam, as male, as 25, as epileptic… and they reflect how the less explicitly communicated assumptions of privilege, like being assumed to be white and christian, shaped the outcome of this experience, just as much as the narrow boxes of gender-binary and sanist/ableist categorizations.]

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