Carla Mackinnon & Dan Denis

Wednesday, June 4 2014 at 7:30PM

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60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Carla Mackinnon & Dan Denis

What's the talk about?

Sleep Paralysis is a condition of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in which a person becomes conscious of their surroundings during the night, but is unable to move. These experiences are often accompanied by a range of bizarre and often terrifying hallucinations. Throughout history, many ostensibly paranormal experiences may be explained as episodes of sleep paralysis. These include incubus and succubus myths, 'evidence' used to prosecute witches, ghost sightings and, more recently, claims of alien abduction.

In this talk Dan Denis will discuss the scientific and cultural context of sleep paralysis while Carla MacKinnon will share her own experiences with sleep paralysis and the research she conducted as part of the Sleep Paralysis Project, a cross-platform initiative exploring the phenomenon. Carla will screen Devil In The Room, a short experimental documentary about sleep paralysis and discuss some of the extraordinary stories and characters she has come into contact with over the course of the project. She will also look at how gaining a scientific understanding of the phenomenon has transformed her own experience of it.

Carla MacKinnon is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary producer with a background in technologyand education. Carla recently graduated from an Animation MA at the Royal College of Art. In 2009 she founded Rich Pickings, live events bringing filmmakers together with practitioners in science and the humanities, aimed at broadening perspectives. A particularly brutal spat of sleep paralysis in 2012 prompted her to initiate the Sleep Paralysis Project, a cross-platform initiative exploring the phenomenon

Dan is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield and former student in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, where he carried out research into the causes of and risk factors involved in sleep paralysis. He is also the resident researcher for the Sleep Paralysis Project, a multi-disciplinary investigation into sleep paralysis