Photography and radical psychiatry in Italy in the 1960s. The case of the photobook Morire di Classe (1969)

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Abstract

In the 1960s Franco Basaglia, the Director of a Psychiatric Hospital in a small city on the edge of Italy (Gorizia), began to transform that institution from the inside. He introduced patient meetings and set up a kind of Therapeutic Community. In 1968 he asked two photographers - Carla Cerati and Gianni Berengo Gardin - to take photos inside Gorizia and other asylums. These images were then used in a photobook called Morire di Classe (To Die Because of your Class) (1969). This article re-examines in detail the content of this celebrated book and its history, and its impact on the struggle to reform and abolish large-scale psychiatric institutions. It also places the book in its social and political context and as a key text of the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date19 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Antipsychiatry
  • Franco Basaglia
  • Italy
  • photography
  • psychiatric reforms

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