Documenting the Psychedelic Renaissance - Panel Discussion & Exclusive Film Preview

  • Mon 24th Jan 2022, 7pm – 9pm UK time (UTC +00:00)
  • Online
mainstreaming psychedelics psychedelic research psychedelic science psychedelic science & mental health
Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
Activity Psychedelic Science & Mental Health
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Only a short number of years ago, major news outlets couldn’t care less about  the use of psychedelic substances. Stories surrounding their use were relegated to often salacious tales of horror about “bad trips”, warning against their use and contributing to long-held public stigma, while neglecting to report on the vast history of their use as an aid in cross-cultural personal and collective healing. As evidence mounted towards their undeniable possibility as a powerful aid in healing the symptoms of an ill society, so too have we witnessed an increase in critical coverage and story-telling from media around the globe. The stories we tell about this time in history play a profoundly important role in shaping where we are headed. 

Join us for a special, online fundraising event where we will explore and investigate the role of our story-tellers and cultural observers in the psychedelic movement; filmmakers, journalists and writers and women who have been witness to the many facets in today's psychedelic culture. You will hear the stories of women whose roles in the psychedelic movement have had a direct impact in both shifting and shaping the narrative that has contributed to the resurgence in these fascinating and challenging substances.

From the War on Drugs, to cultural stigma and psychedelic mainstreaming, how have the roles of journalists, filmmakers and writers had on the movement? What challenges have they faced in being on the front-lines of psychedelic story-telling? And, how has their in-depth witness of explosions of change within the movement shaped their hopes and concerns for the future of psychedelics?

Joining the panel will be the UK Psychedelic Society co-director and documentary director Anya Oleksiuk, Lucid News co-creator and director of the Gaia TV series The Healing Powers Mareesa Sterz, psychedelic integrationist wellbeing coach, and The Psychedelic Renaissance co-producer Haya Heji, and psychedelic fashion designer and public-speaker Akua Ofosuhene.

This event will feature an online panel discussion, audience Q&A and an EXCLUSIVE preview screening of documentary footage from The Psychedelic Renaissance on MONDAY, JANUARY 24th  from 7:00pm - 9:00pm BST.

Funds raised from this event will go towards supporting the remaining critical pieces of production necessary to finish The Psychedelic Renaissance documentary film project.

You can also support us on our Gofundme page.

About the Speakers

Anya Oleksiuk

Anya is a documentary filmmaker, host, and educator. She is a Co-Director of the Psychedelic Society UK, leading on video production, harm reduction, and education about psychedelics. She is also associated with the Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands and is a consultant for the Polish Psychedelic Society (Polskie Towarzystwo Psychodeliczne).

Anya is a founder and director of Triptika Studios, which is a collective of independent filmmakers with interests in health, science, innovative solutions, mental health, drug advocacy, social and racial justice, and environment-friendly lifestyles. She is also the creator, director, and producer of The Psychedelic Renaissance - a not-for-profit documentary film about the worldwide re-emergence of the psychedelic movement and the crucial role of psychedelic substances, plants, and mushrooms in human culture.

Mareesa Stertz

Mareesa Stertz is a Costa Rica/California-based filmmaker and a co-founder and media director at Lucid News. She is also a kundalini yoga teacher, community organizer, and documentarian who’s spent most of her life unraveling the impact of trauma on the human psyche. Her quest has taken her around the world, filming the stories of the shamans in Peru, psychedelic guides in the Netherlands, and holy men in India for her documentary series, ‘The Healing Powers (of psychedelics and other mindful practices)’, on Gaia TV. She is also the director of the film Damanhur: The Documentary on Gaia.

Haya Heji

Haya is a wellbeing coach, positive psychology practitioner and psychedelic integrationist. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College where she focused her senior thesis on the clinical uses of psychedelics. She recently received an MSc in applied positive psychology and coaching psychology from the University of East London, with a dissertation research project exploring the impact of psychedelic use on wellbeing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Haya is co-directing and co-producing The Psychedelic Renaissance Documentary and works as an events planner for The Psychedelic Society UK. She has previously worked as an administrator with Synthesis retreats and was involved with the French psychedelic society. Haya intends to dedicate her career in the field to help bridge the gap between psychedelic science and cultures in the SWANA/MENA region (South West Asia and North Africa/Middle East and North Africa).

Akua Ofosuhene

Akua Ofosuhene began looking to psychedelic medicines, alternative healing modalities and African spirituality after falling into a deep depression, which she was able to heal by weaving these modalities together. 

Today Akua advises on intentions and integration while working with psychedelic medicines. She also advises other parents dealing with the effects of grooming and gang activity, having suffered this first-hand herself. She's a member of  INSCAPE- a psychotherapy led psychedelic retreat organisation and works full time as a designer and importer of natural and artisanal products from Ghana.

Host - Mercedes Grant

Mercedes CA Grant is a witch, writer, activist, community organizer, trauma & justice informed yoga teacher, student astrologer and psychonaut. She is dedicated to creating and supporting inclusive, educational spaces and opportunities that encourage healing and paradigm-shifting dialogue, while building safe(r), just, compassionate and supportive communities both online, and in real life. 

Mercedes has contributed to the psychedelic and plant medicine community since 2015, providing support to organizations including MAPS Canada, the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, Therapsil, The Psychedelic Society UK, The Psychedelic Renaissance documentary, and the 2018 and 2020 Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum.

About The Psychedelic Renaissance

The Psychedelic Renaissance is a not-for-profit whose mission is to provide an in-depth portrait of our ongoing psychedelic movement, educate others about the therapeutic uses and safety of psychedelic substances and promote a diversity of perspectives within psychedelics. As well as creating a full-length feature, with the intention to release for free public screenings by 2022, 

The Psychedelic Renaissance also produces ongoing blog content about psychedelic science and culture and sends regular newsletters, updating followers with the latest in psychedelic research and news. 

To find out more about the project and join their mailing list, visit

Support us on Gofundme!


COVID: For in-person events please consider a lateral flow test on the day. 

REFUNDS POLICY: Please note, we do not arrange refunds or exchanges. When possible we encourage reselling on Ticketswap.

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