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Melanie Bonajo toonde tijdens de bijeenkomst Nederlandwordtanders/Live #2 Nationaal op 11 september een film over de Stadssjamaan.

In opdracht van De Appel Arts Centre maakte kunstenaar Melanie Bonajo de korte film 'Night Soil, Fake Paradise'. “People all over the world are rational in dealing with sickness or health. It is often only our cultural blinkers that prevent us from seeing their rationality. In the recent years there has been a global expansion of a ‘medicine’ called Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew of various plant infusions. Its origin springs from ancient Amazon traditions. My question is why now, what does it mean, what are the potentials and are the consequences? This film shows us glimpses of a lost world, beyond the cliche image of a culture in which people start to re-use plants as a mental, physical and spiritual medicine to find a way to reconnected with some principles lost in our Western lifestyle.

A fresh view on mental health
The hypothesis I like to bring forward is that Ayahuasca can mean for this moment in time what LSD meant for the sixties. LSD influenced the rise of a counter culture who explored new ethical systems, sexual freedom, feminism, gay liberation, the peace-movement, anarchism, environmentalism, different ways of building relationships, revolutions in art and music and alternative economic models. It effected a fresh view on mental health, and was used in an elaborated range of conscious experiments. It stimulated a visual, non-linear creativity that influenced visionary developments in technology and influenced the communal ethos of the early personal computing industry and later the open source software movement. My personal opinion is that the use of LSD lost its power to society, because it is easy to consume individually and was used as recreation. Many of the users lost their search for a higher conscious in combination with political activism to a consumer oriented narcissistic, pleasure culture (parties and festivals).

Spiritual awakening
Ayahuasca on the other hand is a tea which is ritually brewed by an initiate and consumed in a (group)ceremony, most likely with a shaman. The ritualistic use of the substance is strongly connected to music, which influences the mental journey. Using "the medicine" in a ritual give