Collage of a graph, lung drawing, portrait with flowers for a head


Through the voices of various artists, this web-based experience explores the relationship between mental health, language, and lineage. Many awareness campaigns urge us to “break the silence”. But the question of whether – or how – to speak is complicated. Mental health discourses are shaped by particular histories, which reverberate in the present. By juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue aims to expand the possibilities for how we communicate about madness, trauma, and neurodivergence. The content is offered in the form of audio files, transcripts, and ASL videos.

The process for Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to make audio recordings in response to open-ended questions about mental health, language and lineage. The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. A digital platform was developed to host the recordings, through collaboration between the Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, Production Coordinator Brian Postalian and Veronique West. Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue was first presented at the 2021 rEvolver Festival.

Consultants: Amy Amantea, June Fukumura, Simran Gill, and MariFer Rios.

For a full list of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue team’s biographies, please follow the link below:

Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | BIPOC Experience | Community | Disability | Family

Recording available online Oct 28 – Nov 7


For Artist Talk:
ASL and Closed Captions

For work in exhibition:
ASL, Transcripts, Audio Playback

Content Warnings

Brief references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. Detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration. The content does not play automatically and can be paused or skipped.


Digital Platform Realization by: The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team

Developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Associates program.

The project has also been supported by:
Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival
The National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart initiative

The parallel in-person performance has been supported by:
the Canada Council for the Arts
the BC Arts Council
the Province of British Columbia
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Rumble Theatre
Progress Lab 1422
Chimerik似不像 Collective
Boca del Lupo and Rice & Beans Theatre’s DBLSPK series
Mentorship with Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon
Universal Limited’s Horizontal Help program
The Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive

The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts



Black and white drawing of a thin lined body of a human figure with a bird head and thin neck. One arm is a wing where both arms hold a cane each. There are two cross-hatched rectangles with dots


Watch Leena Raudvee take part of the virtual guided tour of the In(site) exhibition held on Sat, Oct 30, 12 PM ET

Leena Raudvee

Hybrid Precarity is a series of pen and ink drawings that has emerged out of a daily drawing practice from the last year of pandemic related anxieties and isolation. It is superimposed, by necessity, on ongoing issues of vulnerability, disability and the precariousness of severely limited mobility.

As internal self-portraits, these drawings respond to changes in Raudvee’s emotional and physical body, as body in process, and become records of the evolving dis-eased body. They are reflections on a strangely hybrid identity, attached to walking aids and no longer wholly human.

Hybrid Precarity is an online slideshow of black and white drawings, accompanied by a sound recording of dissonant sounds, of things creaking and broken.

Leena Raudvee is a Toronto-based visual and performance artist, who focuses on the body in relation to personal history and social interchange.

Raudvee’s drawings, which investigate the performative embodied within the drawing of a line, have been exhibited in numerous juried shows including Drawing 2021 at the John B. Aird Gallery, Drawing Unlimited at the Propeller Gallery and Unpacking Pandemic Pondering with OCADU and Gallery 1313.

In performance art, Raudvee has explored disability and aging in Teetering on an Edge for Pi*llOry in Toronto and in Making Space, as video, screened in Photophobia 2020, presented by Hamilton Artists Inc. and Hamilton Art Gallery.


Keywords: Disability | Trauma

Recipient of the Ontario Arts Council grant for Deaf and Disability Arts Projects:
Materials for Visual Artists

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