Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics.

March 26, 2013  

Author's Talk - Gohar Homayounpour introduced by M Fakhry Davids

Is psychoanalysis possible in the Islamic Republic of Iran? This is the question that Gohar Homayounpour poses to herself, and to us, at the beginning of this memoir of displacement, nostalgia, love, and pain. Twenty years after leaving her country, Homayounpour, an Iranian, Western-trained psychoanalyst, returns to Tehran to establish a psychoanalytic practice. When an American colleague exclaims, "I do not think that Iranians can free-associate!" Homayounpour responds that in her opinion Iranians do nothing but. Iranian culture, she says, revolves around stories. Why wouldn't Freud's methods work, given Iranians' need to talk?

Thus begins a fascinating narrative of interlocking stories that resembles--more than a little--a psychoanalytic session. Homayounpour recounts the pleasure and pain of returning to her motherland, her passion for the work of Milan Kundera, her complex relationship with Kundera's Iranian translator (her father), and her own and other Iranians' anxieties of influence and disobedience. Woven throughout the narrative are glimpses of her sometimes frustrating, always candid, sessions with patients. Ms. N, a famous artist, dreams of abandonment and sits in the analyst's chair rather than on the analysand's couch; a young chador-clad woman expresses shame because she has lost her virginity; an eloquently suicidal young man cannot kill himself. As a psychoanalyst, Homayounpour knows that behind every story told is another story that remains untold. 'Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran' connects the stories, spoken and unspoken, that ordinary Iranians tell about their lives before their hour is up.

The foreword was written by Abbas Kiorastami who is an internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker. His most recent film is 'Certified Copy', starring Juliette Binoche, and 'Like Someone In Love'.

Gohar Homayounpour is a practicing psychoanalyst in Tehran. She trains and supervises the psychoanalysts of the Freudian Group of Tehran and is Professor of Psychology at Shahid Besheti University Tehran.

M Fakhry Davids MSc (Clin Psych) F Inst Psychoanal, is a psychoanalyst and adult psychotherapist in full-time clinical practice in London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, a Member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists, and a founding Board Member of PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities). He has held academic and clinical positions in South Africa and the UK, and is a Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic. He has written on a number of psychoanalytic topics, and has a long-standing interest in whether psychoanalysis is able to journey beyond its Western bourgeois birthplace across boundaries of race, class and culture. His book, Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011.

March 11, 2013  

Filmed at the Anna Freud Centre on 7 March 2013

How should we read Anna Freud's work today? At one point her classic work, 'The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence', was described as 'perhaps the single most widely read book in our professional literature', but today a great deal of her work is out of print and her prominence in psychoanalytic thinking (at least in the UK) has been eclipsed by the work of Klein, Bowlby, Bion, Winnicott and others. In this lecture Nick Midgley considers some ways in which Anna Freud's work can be read today, and suggest that her work is still of value for the way it uses psychoanalytic thinking - both within and beyond the clinical setting - to help us make a difference to the well-being of children and young people.

Nick Midgley is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Anna Freud Centre, London, and Course Director for the MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice at UCL. He is the author of 'Reading Anna Freud', published by Routledge / the New Library of Psychoanalysis in 2013.

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March 7, 2013  

Join Freud Museum Curator Sophie Leighton as she talks to Rebecca Fortnum about her exhibition "Self Contained" which is running at the Freud Museum London from 6 March 2013 - 26 May 2013.

“.. only where I find a face do I encounter an exteriority and does an outside happen to me.” G. Agamben, Means without End, Notes on Politics (2000)

Rebecca Fortnum’s exhibition at the Freud Museum, 'Self Contained', develops several strands of her recent work on the formation of identity, dreams and the power of the gaze.

The series 'Dream' depicts children with their eyes closed in paired pencil portraits. In these small, intimate works we can look at the subjects very closely but they never look back. No blinking, no flinching; we are struck by their interiority. They shut out the intrusive viewer. The imagery responds directly to notions of the power relations of the subject’s gaze, introducing on a suggestive level the ideal of the child’s dreams and imaginings that are inaccessible to the viewer. The portraits are completed in pairs in a process developed to question the authenticity of the single image. These works will be displayed in Anna Freud’s room at the Freud Museum, along with works in silverpoint, to draw out connections with Anna Freud’s writings on the child’s relationship with the adult world.

The series 'Wide Shut' includes three large paired portraits, each with a veil of colour over the image. These are of older girls, one image of each pair with open eyes. They act out the duality of proper and improper, of communication and communicability, of potentiality and action.

March 7, 2013  

A sold out event filmed at the Freud Museum London on 20 February 2013 and was a discussion following the film screening.

This evening included  the screening of three short films which explore the complex and chaotic world of inner experience from a psychoanalytic perspective which was followed by a discussion between the director, Em Cooper and Andrea Sabbadini. For clips of the films and more information please go to:

Em Cooper is a British director and animator specializing in combining oil-painted animation with live-action footage to produce short films based around psychoanalytic themes. She is interested in experimenting with film form and especially use of subjective perspectives. Her recent films have explored subjects such as infancy, obsessive compulsive behaviour and child abuse.

Em's films have been screened internationally, including at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Her work has also shown at Turner Contemporary, Margate and discussed at various psychoanalytic conferences including the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival in London and the International Ferenczi Conference in Budapest. Her film Confusion of Tongues was nominated for the 2012 British Animation Awards, Best Student Film.

Em is currently working on a feature documentary for the BBC.

Andrea Sabbadini, C. Psychol. is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, its former Honorary Secretary and its current Director of Publications. He works in private practice in London, is a Senior Lecturer at UCL, a trustee of the Freud Museum, a member of the IPA Committee on Psychoanalysis and Culture, the director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, and the chairman of a programme of films and discussions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

The Nest (2010) dir. Em Cooper 12mins

It is seemingly just another school morning for Laura and her mother, Alice. But the differences between their two points of view leave us haunted by questions about Laura’s father. When memory and reality become confused, is it possible to understand what really happened?  The Nest is a film about the transmission of trauma through the generations of a family. It is a film snapped in two, both in narrative and in technique, using oil painted animation to bring out the unconscious motives which drive a difficult family dynamic.

Confusion of Tongues (2010) dir. Em Cooper 6mins

Inspired by the 1932 paper by psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi, Confusion of Tongues takes us into the world of a woman suffering a sleepless night. Haunted by a recurring childhood memory and gripped by her fear of a window left open, she begins to recall a much deeper trauma.  Combining film with oil-painted animation Confusion of Tongues vividly conjures up the tragic confusion of desire which can be a devastating effect of child abuse

Laid Down (2007) dir. Em Cooper 15 mins

Shot from the point of view of a newborn baby, Laid Downexplores the chaotic world of a developing infant. Set over the first few months of life, dipping in and out of animated dream sequences, we encounter the turbulent relationship between the baby's parents from the raw, emotional and preverbal perspective of the baby.

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