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Cam's Unboxed Life

Cam’s Unboxed Life is a story of coming to terms with not fitting in to our community. 

Mr Cam. O. Flage started life as all sock monkey’s do as a baby, born to two very typical sock monkeys. Cam travelled thorough life accepting that he lived in a box and working very hard to conform to the parameters set by the cardboard around him, regardless of what life and the box threw at him.   

However not matter how hard Cam worked, something always felt not quite right.  As Cam grew in years, the typical sock monkey’s around him started often notice that Cam wasn’t matching up to the expectations of the box.  This unsettled them, and their discomfort unsettled Cam.

They decided that it was time they brought Cam to the attention of the Box Keepers, who deemed came “Not Box Approved”, and with that labelling he was swiftly exorcised from The Box.  In the wilderness outside of the box, Cam initially tries with all his might to fit back in, to be accepted back into the fold. But no matter what he does, he cannot get the “Not Box Approved” label removed. 

Eventually he starts to shift focus, from how to get back into the box, to what is actually outside of the box.  He notices that there are others like him, who are Not Box Approved but who have established homes of comfort outside of the box.  As he gets to know them, he hears the stories they have about their experiences and how they have come to not only understand but celebrate their Unboxed Lives.

Join Cam in his journey towards celebrating his own Unboxed Life, and consider for yourself whether you have some bits of your journey that are also Unboxed.

About the artist

Hannah Komatsu has worked within marginalised communities for the past 21 years. Currently her focus has been on projects in the space of Mad and Neurodivergent Pride and includes producing Divergence: A Festival of Madness. 

Hannah describes her experience of moving through the world as a ‘life by committee’.  She lives with an internal collective that developed as response to her childhood and adolescent experiences.  This multiple sense of self enabled her to survive the trauma that occurred in earlier years.  What psychiatry has defined as disorder, she has been able to befriend and embrace, to work with and to feel a fullness that was once absent from her life. 

Cam’s Unboxed Life, is the work of one of Hannah’s internal collective called Flo. In collaboration with other internal collective members, Flo has crafted a story that conveys the experience of realising you are non-typical, the process and factors that contribute to stigmatisation, and the impacts of resulting prejudice and discrimination.  Beautifully it also illustrates how we can move past all of this to owning and celebrating the very difference that causes the stigma.   This is a story we all have a part in.

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A team of Sock Monkey Stuffers has supported Hannah in the task of creating the monkeys, and her family have helped craft the cardboard background.  Hannah and Thriving Madly are very grateful for Like Minds Like Mine Community Grants and Christchurch Creative Communities that have contributed to making Cam’s Unboxed Life possible.


Come and explore life outside the box.


Tuesday 14 September- Sunday 20 September 2020 

10am - 5 pm


Pūmanawa, The Arts Centre

 2 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013

Registrations / Tickets

The exhibition is free to attend, donations gratefully received.

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