Afflictions pp 99-110 | Cite as

Shadows and Illuminations: Interpreting and Framing Extraordinary Experience

  • Robert Lemelson
  • Annie Tucker
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


The ethnographic film Shadows and Illuminations focuses on Kereta, a rural Balinese man in his sixties, who lives in two worlds: the world of his family and community and the world of the spirits. Kereta has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but his experiences skirt the borders of cultural and spiritual norms, simultaneously manifesting and exceeding Balinese beliefs about the supernatural world and the possibilities for human interaction with it. After presenting Kereta’s life story, the chapter explores how culturally non-normative states of consciousness and their developmental, biographical, and historical roots and connections are subjectively experienced and socially contextualized, with a particular focus on ngeb, a Balinese idiom of distress encompassing trauma reaction, social withdrawal, and silent political protest.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lemelson
    • 1
  • Annie Tucker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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