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The Infernal Grove is an unsystematic structural analysis of drug use, addiction and recovery (not necessarily in that order). It is anti-carceral, anti-prohibition and seeks to amplify the voices of radical harm-reductionists and their coalitions. It recognizes the value of the sacred while rejecting all forms of piety. It posits wonder and the land as spaces of enchantment, as not an antidote to but an extension of the space opened up by drugs.
It’s based on the artists’ lived experience of drug use and the consequent interventions of state and medical establishments, which included both involuntary hospitalization and outpatient rehabilitation.@the_infernal_grove
The film is based on interviews with members of Vancouver’s Drug Liberation Front, a radical harm-reduction group that gives out free, tested crack and fentanyl on the street; with Samona Marsh and Hugh Lampkin of VANDU, the first drug-users union in North America; with video art pioneers Paul Wong and Joe Gibbons; with a white-rapper-turned-cannabis-entrepreneur from Oregon and a young Black weed dealer in rust-belt New York; with a “sober influencer” from Nova Scotia and the brother of a for-profit rehab chain; with drag artist Mikiki about his (entirely positive) experiences in the chemsex scene. The interviews are woven together with hypnotic time lapse video of the natural world.
The visual material has been collected over several years through a process both painstaking and wobbly. Much of it is timelapse and all of it is made to draw the viewer into the inside of beauty—to actually be in beauty for a while—because inside beauty there is a room, and in the room is enchantment or wonder.
- Mythologies of Recovery and The Redemption Narrative - Thursday April 135:30 CST / 6:30pm ESTArt and Exhibition Hall Screening RoomUniversity of Illinois at Chicago400 S. Peoria St. Room 3226 Infernal Grove Study Groups bring together artists and writers with lived experience of drug use who have a range of relationships to sobriety and its alternatives. We started the groups out of thirst for rigorous, […]
- Where We’re Calling From - MARCH 18 2023 At YES WE CANNIBAL, BATON ROUGE LA RSVP here or just show up (but please do RSVP) READINGS Jasmine Amussen, “Letter from Arkansas: In the Pines”, 2023 website or pdfRaymond Carver, “Where I’m Calling From,” 1983 website or pdf READING THE TEXT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE DISCUSSION. MODERATORS […]
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Unstructured discussions with no agenda other than what people bring to it. 60 minutes.
The topics vary and are not always adhered to. Reading the texts is options.
Screenings and Events