Crazy and Proud
Crazy and Proud is the inside story of an invisible place – an inner-city shelter for transient, mentally-ill women. This first-person narrative chronicles what happened in 1999 when Lowell Handler, after his successful memoir Twitch and Shout, was hired as a recreation worker to teach photography to this hidden population. This was not the first time he’d been drawn to social work, but found pretty quickly that working at the shelter was not the experience he thought he’d signed on for. The women at the shelter were present without being accounted for, living without any viable means of support. They moved through this passage without a home or job or even the certainty their own minds could be trusted. In the year that followed, the women not only learned about photography but found validation in seeing their perspectives documented. In the photographs the women allowed Lowell to take of them, they become visible, accounted for, and recognizable to themselves. Many of these photographs accompany the narrative, along with a short film and some audio via hyperlinks.
Twitch and Shout
“Wonderful, compassionate, funny, instructive, inspiring and flat-out brilliant,” said The New York Daily News about the award-winning 1995 documentary film, Twitch and Shout. Narrator, associate producer, and photographer for that project, Lowell Handler has lived with Tourette’s syndrome his entire life. Once thought to be a sign of possession, this neurological disorder causes sudden jerking movements and tics, as well as sometimes a propensity to curse.
In this revealing memoir Handler tells of how Tourette’s has shaped his life and provides insight into the strange symptoms that are often debilitating and alienating. As the title suggests, Twitch and Shout is no plea for pity; it is a heartfelt and often humorous effort to reclaim and humanize a disorder that can keep others at a distance.