From Malaise. Community Mental Health and Critical Institutionalism

Critical Node

10 March 2023 - 17 May 2023 - Check programme

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior email registration by writing to, until 28 February, stating personal details (name, surname[s], place and date of birth), personal reasons for participation, places related to mental health approaches i.e. activism, academia, institutions, and so on

Nouvel Building, Workshops and Protocol Room; Sabatini Building, Floor 3
20 people

10 and 29 March, 12 and 26 April and 17 May 2023; from 6:30pm to 9pm

Organised by
Entrar Afuera, Locus* (Nada Colectivo) and Museo Reina Sofía
Remedios Varo, La Faim (The Hunger), 1938. Museo Reina Sofía
Remedios Varo, La Faim (The Hunger), 1938. Museo Reina Sofía

In 2022, a group of people from Entrar Afuera, Nada Colectivo and Museo en Red embarked upon a research process on community mental health, critical institutionalism and the possibility of radio as a practice of collective communication. Therefore, the confluence of these three strands sets forth a hypothesis on cultural practice as a potential space for care and social transformation, inside the framework of structural forms of malaise rooted in the capitalist system.

From such a collective process, which solidifies in the RRS Radio podcast From Malaise and aims to expand research towards new gazes, comes this new Critical Node in 2023, part of Connective Tissue, the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Programme.

This new stage continues by exploring the ways of living and facing contradictions inside and outside institutions, from first-person experience, artistic practice, institutional work and activism.


Entrar Afuera is a militant research collective which explores forms of social care, considering and acting in relation to the link between public institutions and territories. Its participants live and work in Madrid and Trieste, in Italy. This Node features the participation of Marta Pérez and Irene Rodríguez Newey.

Locus* (Nada Colectivo) is a project based in the vulnerable Puente de Vallecas neighbourhood in Madrid, exploring the confluence of community culture and mental health. It subverts the concept of “a safe place” — which in psychiatric hegemony is related to spaces of police containment and health — through different contemporary creative languages and stressing co-existence with madness rooted in mutual support. This Node features the participation of Francesca Alessandro and Ana CSC.

Museo en Red is an area in the Museo Reina Sofía’s Public Activities Department which works to develop sustained dialogue and collaborations with different national and international agents and collectives, both in the artistic sphere and in activism and thought. This Node features the participation of Sara Buraya Boned and Celina Poloni.


Friday, 10 March 2023 - 6:30 pm / Nouvel Building, Workshops
The Culture of Malaise

This session aims to reflect on, embody and put forward tools of care which subvert the hegemonic concept of malaise — ableist, punitivist, iatrogenic; namely that which is caused by the medical institution — towards a radical concept (imaginative, collectivist, anti-establishment) that acts as a bridge to the sessions that follow. Therefore, it approaches certain key concepts related to psychological malaise, its history as a social agent and its politicisation as a force of resistance from the optics of the international social movement Orgullo Loco (Mad Pride) and from the specific experience of the cultural project Locus*.

Wednesday, 29 March 2023 - 6:30pm / Nouvel Building, Workshops and Sabatini Building, Floor 3
Genealogies of Art and Madness

In a drift through the Museo, this session seeks to explore different narratives from, and on, madness, stressing how they become inserted inside accounts on mental health and other forms of contemporary malaise in exhibition space. Moreover, starting from the history of the Museo Reina Sofía as a former hospital, it explores its roles as a public art institution, understanding it at once as a space of representation and care and political imagination.

Wednesday, 12 April 2023 - 6:30pm / Nouvel Building, Workshops
Work and Precarity

In a society where people’s mental health is linked to their capacity to produce, the logics of paid work — or the lack thereof — increase the risk of encountering psychological suffering. This third section articulates the crossroads between work and health, analysing how production dynamics contaminate all realms of life, inhabiting and interpreting the tensions produced from the socio-economic sphere and generating creative strategies of introspection, self-defence and micro-politics.

Wednesday, 26 April 2023 - 6:30pm / To be announced soon
Institutionalism, Malaise and Care Practices

The lives of human beings pass in almost permanent contact with institutions such as schools, medical centres and museums, places where life is created, cared for and sustained but also spaces that are ultimately unable to open out and understand and welcome the lives of those who inhabit them. In this collective session, Entrar Afuera sets forth a journey through such territories swamped with norms, walls and pre-defined power logics, analysing their contradictions in an exercise of imagination which sheds light on how to make possible, and who does so, other forms of institutionalism.

Wednesday, 17 May 2023 - 6:30 h / Nouvel Building, Protocol Room
Radio as Bonfire

The closing session of the Critical Node From Malaise is put forward as a sound laboratory which explores the possibilities of radio as a practice of collective communication. which sheds light on how to make possible, and who does so, other forms of institutionalism.