Tuesday, 30 April 2013

An Evening of Anti-Psychiatry Nottingham Contemporary Gallery - Polly Mortimer

In February, I went to an Anti-Psychiatry evening at Nottingham Contemporary Gallery, for a selection of excellent events and discussion. 

First, there was a film by Dora Garcia (The Deviant Majority (From Basaglia to Brazil) 2010) flipping from Basaglia’s Triests/Gorizia anti-asylum movement, to powerful theatre sessions with ‘service users’ in Trieste, punctuated by stark text-on-screen in the film The Inadequate. There were interviews with ‘70s protest leader Carmen Roll from the SPK (Socialist Patients Collective, later allied with the Red Army Faction). Strong stuff. Anti-psychiatry then seemed to be anti-asylum, anti-capitalism, grown from the student protests and other protest groups sweeping parts of Europe.

Then there was a fabulous discussion: First John Foot, a UCL (University College London) historian who has developed a special interest in Basaglia, Turin and Gorizia and the Italian movement to close asylums (without much thought of what would come after). Next, Howard Caygill – a philosopher from Kingston inter alia – who gave a powerful talk about a particular statue in Arezzo, Italy, commemorating those with mental distress,  closely examining where it was in the garden of the old asylum, which way it faced, how it juxtaposed against an old statue hidden in the shrubbery. Next David Reggio – also from Kingston – a Brazil expert.  Well mediated by Isobel Whitelegg.

To catch up with this and the night after (Duncan Double and others at the core of the critical psychiatry movement) go to: 

http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/anti-psychiatry-part-1 and watch the filmed events.

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