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Amanda Feilding is a drug policy reformer best known for her research into consciousness and psychoactive drugs such cannabis, MDMA, LSD and psilocybin, which she conducts through her non-profit organisation, the Beckley Foundation. She is also an expert in the practice of trepanation, an ancient medical procedure in which a small hole is cut out of the skull to alleviate a variety of ailments, or even to achieve a higher state of consciousness.
In 1970, with the intent of testing the hypothesis that trepanation would increase cerebral circulation, by allowing the heartbeat to fully express itself through the brain (leading to a higher state of consciousness), Feilding, (then 27), performed the procedure on herself, having been unable to find a doctor willing to perform the procedure for her. The event was filmed and titled (which consisted of alternating scenes of the operation, and motion studies of Feilding's pet pigeon, Birdie, respectively), had its first known public screening in 1978, at the Suydam Gallery in New York.
The film was long thought by many to be completely lost, due to its incredibly limited amount of screenings, until it was once again publicly shown in April 2011 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The entire film has never surfaced online, although several snippets can be seen in Eli Kabillio's 1998 documentary .