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Claustrophobic Visions of the Asylum: The Photobooks of the Italian Psychiatric Reform

Sforza Tarabochia, Alvise (2021) Claustrophobic Visions of the Asylum: The Photobooks of the Italian Psychiatric Reform. Between: Journal of the Italian Association for the Theory and Comparative History of Literature, 11 (22). pp. 209-227. ISSN 2039-6597. E-ISSN 2039-6597. (doi:10.13125/2039-6597/4649) (KAR id:91872)


In this article, I compare the strategies of visual representation employed in the two photobooks of 1969 Gli esclusi (D’Alessandro-Piro 1969) and Morire di classe (Berengo Gardin et al. 1969). These photobooks have been the photographic protagonists of the reform of psychiatric health care that, fed by the upheavals of the late 1960s, brought about the closure of psychiatric asylums in 1978 – through the famous Law 180. I will focus in particular on the representation of claustrophobic spaces in its relationship with the bodies of the inmates and how this relates to the traditional iconography of madness. The aim of this article is to show that, even though they employ radically different strategies of representation, these photobooks aim at translating into visual terms the pivotal philosophical coordinates that guided the reform of psychiatric health care.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.13125/2039-6597/4649
Uncontrolled keywords: Photobook, asylum, psychiatry, photojournalism, Italy, madness, iconography
Subjects: N Visual Arts
P Language and Literature > PB Modern Languages
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Alvise Sforza Tarabochia
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2021 13:13 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 11:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Sforza Tarabochia, Alvise.

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