"A story of betrayal. And hubris."

The Master Betrayed is a multimedia story comprising of 18 episodes. It brings together three mediums, podcasting, animation and journaling, into one narrative. The story is built around a 10 hour conversation recorded in 2017 with renowned psychiatrist and philosopher, Iain McGilchrist. It is well known that a balance needs to be struck between a mechanistic, tidy, concrete way of attending to the world, and a more grounded, fluid and organic disposition. Iain McGilchrist argues in his book The Master and His Emissary that these two ways of attending to the world are embodied and represented by the two hemispheres in the brain, and that the left hemisphere, the emissary, has overcome its master. The Master Betrayed examines and elucidates that thesis.

Chapter 1 - Animation

Talisker House

Meet Iain McGilchrist and get a sense for Talisker House, where the story begins.
Directed by Angelica Lena
Chapter 1 - Podcast
A 20 minute desert island disk style interview.
Iain McGilchrist talks about his family and education,
and shares his favourite music and places.
Chapter 1: Journal

Welcome to The Master Betrayed. In this first episode, we travel to the Isle of Skye in Scotland to meet philosopher Iain McGilchrist. After living for years in South London, McGilchrist came across his current home, Talisker House, whilst on a trip with his then wife to explore Skye. Stumbling across the house, he was captivated by the beauty of the setting and the history of the house itself (writers Johnson and Boswell stayed in 1773 on their trip to the Highlands). A fortuitous google of “homes for sale in Scotland” brought him back to Talisker some years later, and this is where we now find him. McGilchrist and his brother infact decided many years ago that one must live on a Scottish island and the other a Greek one, being according to them the two most magical places to live. Some might say Iain pulled the short straw, but he is happy with his lot, content with observing a landscape that is ever changing. 

Iain McGilchrist read English at Oxford. After graduation he became a Fellow at All Souls college, and spent the next 7 years pursuing research and critiquing literary criticism. It is here that he first becomes engaged with the “mind body problem” in relation to literary criticism, which he believes is done in a “too disembodied way”. His time at Oxford was marked by a sense of, as he describes it, Gladiatorial debate, as well as the formation of life-long friendships with colleagues. His three children are dotted across the world, one in California, one in London, and the third in Brighton. Whilst his daughter’s proficiency at skateboarding is something of a surprise to learn about, his sons love of rock music is less so, given that music is “key” to The Master And his Emissary. In fact, McGilchrist would spend his Tuesday nights as a young man singing Renaissance church music in a choir, followed by rock and roll dancing on a Wednesday. He describes the “out of this world” experience of his choir singing, whereby the chorists would wander the room whilst singing, coming close to another part and moving away again - a demonstration of McGilchrist’s desire for and appreciation of embodied experience.