There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.‘ 
Maya Angelou
 Birdsong Books is hatched from a bigger project Birdsong from Inobservable Worlds funded by Unlimited and Wellcome Collection
 

This is a survivor run book project set up to counter the fact that in most mental health archives and libraries, the mental health survivor voice is in the extreme minority.
“Why should the people who’ve never visited a land be that country’s prime historians? How can we tell our true stories when our words are seen as sickness? Our basic premise is that psychiatry in all sorts of ways, but especially in patient notes, demeans and makes the human being ugly. We want to use the project to switch that dynamic, and to show where psychiatry is ugly, and that the mad and distressed reclaim beauty to be theirs.

Our publications are survivor accounts of the mental health system, exploring the impact of a profession where some people are pathologised for identities historically judged as problematic or labelled ‘mad’. No one has given those labelled ‘mad’ the authority to tell their stories. We have to take it upon ourselves to be our own truth-tellers.
As Cassandra Lovelock, one of our editors says:

 Peoples’ stories are their own, in whatever form they have been put across in this book. For that reason, I beg you to take your elitist opinions and shove them up your ass. These book is not grammatically perfect, it has not softened itself for our readers, and we have not asked our authors to reshape themselves to fit into already formed constructs and narratives about mental health. This is not an academic book, though every academic should read it and weep.”
 
These are survivor voices set free.

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THIS PROJECT IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF OUR EDITOR DEBRA SHULKES (1975-2022)

Funders:

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