The Deadline is video, podcast and blog project (and eventually community theatre project), taking you on a darkly humorous boutique distillery tour that crosses representations like “Who do you think you are?”, “Time Team”, “Drunk History” with “What we do in the Shadows”. Let’s talk about what is hidden in our family history closets and mock the crap out of the government policy and the inane and outdated social conventions that drive stigma and taboo.
Now before you go ballistic about how “you can’t laugh at that!”, people often laugh through trauma as a way to cope. And we won’t be laughing at people’s experience unless it’s something a family member found funny and is prepared to share with you…and you are not that wanker whose going to tell them they can’t laugh at this are you? We will mock the hells out of the system along the way.
If you would like to read a bit about how community arts and good mental health practice here’s a little taster for you:
Keller, S.; McNeill, V.; Honea, J.; Paulson Miller, L. A Look at Culture and Stigma of Suicide: Textual Analysis of Community Theatre Performances. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 352. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/3/352#cite
About the author of this site: I’m Jacci Pillar, a presenter somewhere between Louis Theroux and John Safran but a lot queerer than both. “The Deadline: Of Death and Gin”; is a hybrid arts project that combines autobiography, anthropological ethnography and comedy.
Why do this? It all started with a family history of laughing about “things you shouldn’t laugh about” in order to heal through some big family crises. My family has been plagued with mental health and addiction issues, often hidden with such ferocity it was comical. Then I began unwrapping the family history in 2005…
My founding ancestors, John and Bridget were goldrush brewery owners in Kilmore, Victoria, Australia. (Irish-much?) John died in 1887 from “a wound to the throat after being in a state of insanity”. His wife, Bridget, died a few years later with an enlarged liver, a typical drinker’s death.
RESEARCH IS SAYING THIS TRAUMA COULD BE INHERITED, WHICH LED ME TO ASK, AM I DOOMED?
We all talk about good mental health but then hand our depressed relative a drink in the corner at Christmas and hope they’ll go away. Let’s face it, we’ve all got that Uncle or Aunt. For my family that person is me.
If you’ve ever rung a suicide hotline late at night, you’ll realise lack of funding mean you are more likely to get on hold music than rapid help.
The voice message should say “Please try and restrict your suicidal thoughts to between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm, when we have the resources to deal with you. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice night.”
Research has also shown how stigma, shame and lack of services, push people to further harm.
If we want people to keep living so much, why are we literally killing people with shame?
Could modern mental health and addiction services be like the self-fulfilling bungled social policy of promises unmet, the ultimate spin. “The Deadline” takes a personal look at what we’ve learned anything in the last 200 years.
Worse, could the idea that we inherit our trauma be taken on board by people so deeply that it replaces ideas like fate and destiny? Or self-fulfilling prophecy?
I sincerely hope not!
Take a journey with me through The Deadline, from my great great grandfather’s 19th century brewery to now – using comedy, history, family stories, picking researcher’s brains and gin! Don’t forget the gin!
Content will include literary blogposts and some little film and podcast projects as we get out to Kilmore later this year and do some history investigation like:
- Interviews with experty type people
- Interviews, oral histories and stories from other Irish-Australian families with similar intergenerational mojo
- Interviews with people who perform about dark topics
- Whatever else I think of.
Weekly posts and updates as the project develops coming soon…
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