The Wildness of Schizophrenia

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By Zekria Ibrahimi

ISBN: 978-1-84991-048-4
Published: 2010
Pages: 54
Key Themes: play, schizophrenia, society, depression

Description

This difficult play is about...

Two people on a beach...

About the cruelty of the System...

About the impossibility of building Eden against the hatred that is everywhere...

About how the nervous couple try to love, but find that love can never win...

About the unstable interplay between solitude and society...

About the futility of art and idealism...

And about how they separate...

For the System will not tolerate togetherness...

About the Author

Zekria Ibrahimi (born in 1959) is defined by his schizophrenia. It first hit him long ago, in his late teens. He is fifty years old now, grey and frail, almost a pensioner, with all the aches and injuries of age, and he does not always want to remember how, as an adolescent in the late 1970's, he suddenly became afraid of everything surrounding him, and, worst of all, of himself. He would run around the countryside and knock at the doors of strangers because he feared the apocalypse was pursuing him ... He would pick up rubbish outside in alleys and streets and hoard it in his not very palatial lodgings ... He was always wandering away from home, searching for ... what would never be found again ... the straight route, the level way ... He was a tramp, freezing during the nights in public toilets where he had various unsavoury insects as company on the cold concrete Ö

There were years of pain when his schizophrenia became almost his only companion- albeit a sadistic one, punishing him even as he hugged it. Perhaps, to echo both R. D. Laing and Emily Dickinson, it is the entire globe, it is general society, that is truly insane. Schizophrenics simply burrow all too deeply under the surface. They reach the very core of the savage reality in us all. Most varnish over the anarchic truth within through the superficial sham paraded as 'civilization'. Schizophrenics prefer to be uncomfortably honest barbarians. For the accident- prone Zekria, the System is all pain, and no cure.

Eventually, after much psychotic shouting on Hammersmith Broadway, the hapless Zekria was confined at the Charing Cross unit in the West London Mental Health Trust. Following the unsafe unstable freedom of his schizophrenia, came the restrictions of Section 3. He would not have survived without the multi- racial compassion of the individual doctors and nurses in Charing Cross. Yet the overall SYSTEM remains an ogre of rules and restraints, and the INSTITUTION of psychiatry can be as cold and vicious as in the days of lobotomy and insulin shock.

Now he is elderly, but still he muses about being locked up, drugged up, about how, with schizophrenia, the treatment can be worse than the disease...

Book Extract

Abdul is sketching randomly on a mundane Devon beach. He has arrived in the dull-as-cream-teas West Country on an art trip. He is a hack artist who sells - or, rather, does not sell - his minor work at flea markets. He stutters and he limps. He is a man used to disappointments. He prefers not to have the promise of utopia. He meets by accident his opposite - Jenny, an Afro-Caribbean woman dedicated to revolution. She has arrived in Devon for Trotskyist seminars and some aggressive direct action against rural feudalism. She challenges, much to Abdulís disquiet, all his hopeless abject complacency. It turns out that she has been sectioned as an aggressive schizophrenic. This is a difficult play about the tangled intersection between sex and politics. The implication is that, without honesty and happiness in sex, there can be no real political liberation. The over-earnest Jenny and perpetually nervous Abdul make love on the bleak isolated beach. Abdul admits to a past homosexual experience, the guilt from which has wrecked him as a man. In the end, Jenny is unable to heal him. She asks him to come with her and join her communist crusade, but Abdul, ultimately left on his own amidst the dusk and the rocks, decides to continue his agonizing loneliness. For Abdul, who cannot dare to follow Jenny into revolution, is unable to grasp the dream.


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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 14 April, 2010.