News | Wednesday, 25th March 2015

"Recoverist Manifesto" launched with Will Self

Arts for Health aim to give voice to "marginalised" recovering addicts

Will Self

A “REVOLUTIONARY manifesto” for recovery from addiction has been launched by Arts for Health with the writer Will Self.

People in recovery from the UK, Italy and Turkey have collaboratively developed a manifesto that attempts to humanise the face of addiction.

The Recoverist Manifesto gives a voice to a marginalised people that aims to dispel the stigmatizing myths and legends associated with the condition by providing a counter-blast that challenges current clichéd misconceptions by reframing addiction as a health issue and recovery as a civil rights concern.

Putting aside the culture of blame and shame by addressing the reader directly, the manifesto suggests that addiction reflects the inequalities of contemporary life.

Being heard

Will Self, who identifies himself as being in recovery, wrote the Recoverist Manifesto’s introduction. He states: “I don’t think there is a ground for much militancy over this: the recovering alcoholic or addict simply has to accept – along with so much else – the surly indifference of the straight world, but what can be done is what everyone else seeks to do: find one’s voice.

“Often it’s simply in the act of being heard that the individual recovers her sense of autonomy, and with it her sense of purpose – that’s what’s entailed by the Recoverist Manifesto.”

Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University, describes the manifesto as being “a proactive response to the misconceptions around addiction and a declaration of the possibilities of recovery.”

Mark Prest, Director of Portraits of Recovery, comments: “We want to tell our story, shine a light, be visible and stand proud. We want to generate new possibilities for people in recovery by challenging and changing attitudes.”

Notes to editors

For more information, or to speak to Clive Parkinson or Mark Prest, contact Kat Dibbits in the Manchester Metropolitan University press office on 0161 247 5278 or email

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