World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October every year. Today.
I came across the website of Scott, to see again his project “Butterflies”, which is divided into chapters, and is a long term project about mental health in different regions of the world. A project carried out with great commitment and dedication. It always moves me. Butterflies By Scott Typaldos
I recently went back to re-photograph a large psychiatric hospital in Naples; the “Leonardo Bianchi Psychiatric Hospital”, which has been abandoned to itself about twenty years ago.
In 1998 I spent some weeks living in a small room inside the hospital, photographing the last “guests” present in the structure before the final closure. Last year, interested and obsessed by the place and by the people I met years ago, I asked and obtained permission to re-photograph the structure and work on the rich, but also abandoned, archive of medical records (around 70,000 medical records, some with photographs of the patient attached), which covers almost a century of psychiatric history of one of the largest and most capacious psychiatric hospitals in southern Italy. A project currently in progress.
In reviewing Scott’s work, I discovered similarities between some of our images.
We probably have a couple of obsessions in common or may be we are not original enough and we sink into the cliché of the wall, the shoes, the corners; more likely it is the experience itself that brings our attention to similar details. May be a common effort to “put in the shoes” of a person considered mentally ill, has led to common visions. Perhaps these places -that unfortunately still exist- are all alike in some corners.
What for sure matters, are the people who inhabit, or have inhabited them, and still have insufficient or no rights at all.