Series of 15, pencil on paper, 30 x 42cm.
Throughout history the diagnosis of 'hysteria' has been a medical one, almost always referring to women. The etymology of the word reveals it's inbuilt misogyny. So it was with interest that I discovered a form of mass hysteria which has historically occurred in South East Asia over the centuries, up until very recently, and also in isolated parts of Africa.
Genital Retraction Syndrome affects mainly men. It is a hysteria triggered by the belief that the penis is shrinking back up inside the body, and that once this occurs completely the victim will die. This hysteria is unfounded in fact as it is a biological impossibility, but there have been many examples of men injuring themselves in an attempt to prevent it from happening to them.
'Koro' is the Malay word for 'turtle's head'.