Illustration © Nikki McClure

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Navigating the Space between Brilliance and Madness: A Reader and Roadmap of bipolar worlds


This little book emerged from the stories of the many amazing members of The Icarus Project. We assembled the beautiful and jagged pieces of our collective experience, the lessons and the scars, to create an atlas of alternative maps to the particular breed of madness that gets called bipolar, and the ways people are making it through. Traveling through subconscious and waking worlds, from hospital waiting rooms to collective house kitchens, from the desert to the supermarket, these pages chart some of the underground tunnels beneath the mainstream medical model of treatment and the pathologizing language that alienates so many of us. These are maps made up of ideas and stories and examples from many people's lives. Some of these maps will help you to navigate through the existing architecture of the mental health establishment; some of them might help you figure out for yourself where you stand in relation to the larger ecosystem of the earth and the people who inhabit it.

We've drawn stories from letters, journals, articles, and the forums of the Icarus Project website to create 80 pages of art, imagination, and mutual aid. Originally published in March, 2004, Navigating the Space is currently in its 5th printing.


United States
Names of Producers/organizers/editors/creators: 
The Icarus Project
Language of project: