For Our Own Care | Issue No. 20

No. 20 | For Our Own Care


They say the first cut is the deepest, but it’s often the bill for the band-aid that leaves the worse bruise. As a result, humanity’s been exploring alternative ways to heal more and more these days, and by 2018, the global wellness industry ballooned into a 4.2 trillion dollar market, charging prime rates for everything from organic eats to yoga retreats. On top of eating clean and staying mindful, the wellness lifestyle demands expensive supplements, serums, specialists, therapists, and devices to measure how well they’re all working. But when medical insurers won’t cover these expenses and peace and quiet become luxury items, what happens to the people who can’t afford the price tag? This month, we’re looking for ways to get better without breaking the bank.

Black Boys Play 
By Martine Granby

"Black Boys Play" explores the shortcomings of Brooklyn’s mental health resources through the eyes of  Andre Walker, a former patient who navigated both behavioral health hospitals and rehabilitation centers in New York City. In Brooklyn, the majority of patients hospitalized for mental health care are Black men. Predominantly African American communities in the borough, like Crown Heights, hold NYC’s third largest rates of hospitalization. Practicing psychologist Bishop James Chambers of Greater Saint Mary’s, expels how systematic racial bias has hindered the way  Black men are treated for mental illness. Filmmaker Martine Granby uses a visual tapestry of family photos and found footage to illustrate Walker’s daily interior struggle with loss, self-worth and what it means to be home. 

Community Acupuncture
By Emily Boghossian

The community acupuncture model is designed to provide accessible, sustainable acupuncture to low and middle-income communities by charging people on a sliding scale, and treating multiple patients in the same space at the same time. Today, acupuncture is a widely embraced – though largely inaccessible – medical treatment in the United States. But its history in the US is tangled up in ideas about social medicine and radical political movements.  Producer Emily Boghossian took a trip through the history of community acupuncture to find out where it’s going next.

Some Parallels I See Between
By Jasia Kaulbach

While the concept of Art Therapy may sound new — and, perhaps, New-Age— the idea goes back as far as the 1940s. It was developed and honed at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where Margaret Naumberg promoted "the release of spontaneous imagery" through drawing, painting, scribbling, and interpreting the symbols that were left on the canvas. Today, the American Art Therapy Association has thousands of members, and the field of Creative Arts Therapy has grown to include the use of everything from dance to theater to music to heal. In both her artistic and therapeutic practices, Brooklyn-based artist Amelia Moore uses color, contrast, and visual contradiction to make light of the dark feelings that come with being constantly bombarded with bad news. Filmmaker Jasia Kaulbach sat down with Amelia to talk about her early experiences with art, how they’ve informed her current work, and the power of art therapy.

Social Media Cleanse
By Khyriel Palmer


Social media is well on its way to becoming one of the most destructive human inventions of modern civilization. Nearly half the world’s population spends an average of two hours a day scrolling, clicking, swiping, and liking, while the more nefarious amongst us use these platforms to bully, misinform, disarray, exploit, and abuse each other. And while Facebook’s Director of Research even suggested that the answer to the mental health issues caused by the platform was to simply become a more active user, producer Khyriel Palmer took a different approach. Towards the end of last year, he went on a social media cleanse, removing himself from all the platforms he frequents, to find out what it means – and how it feels– to disengage. 

Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Sasha Whittle and Charlie Hoxie.  We’re tackling everything from language to cooperative economics this season and we want to hear from you. If you want in, send us tips, pitches, thoughts, ideas, self-destructing messages, or just regular normal emails and check out our pitch page for more information.