Event: Is freedom therapeutic?

Franco Basaglia and Italy’s mental health revolution.

A dialogue between John Foot and Peppe dell’Acqua.

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, 6.30pm.

Italian Cultural Institute, London, 39 Belgrave Square SW1X 8NX.

Italy’s ‘Basaglia Law’ (1978) called for the closure of all the nation’s psychiatric hospitals. Franco Basaglia was part of a huge movement of psychiatrists – including R.D Laing, David Cooper and Maxwell Jones, who all worked in the UK – patients and activists keen to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness. One of the key protagonists of this movement in Trieste, where Franco Basaglia directed the psychiatric hospital from 1971-1978, was Peppe Dell’Acqua. This event will see Dell’Acqua in conversation with John Foot, who has recently published a cultural history of the movement which led to the 1978 law. Basaglia and his legacy are still part of an ongoing debate, in the UK and elsewhere, over the closure of the asylums and the future of what is called “care in the community”.

Peppe Dell’Acqua has worked alongside Franco Basaglia since 1971. For over 17 years, he has been in charge of the Department of Mental Health of Trieste. He published Il folle gesto (Edizioni Sapere, 2000), Fuori come va? (Feltrinelli, 2010), Non ho l’arma che uccide il leone (Collana 180, 2007). He works as consultant for the RAI fiction C’era una volta la città dei matti and he is the Director of the science magazine “Collana 180 – Archivio critico della salute mentale”.

John Foot is Professor of Modern Italian History in the Department of Italian, University of Bristol. His most recent publications include Modern Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and The Man who Closed the Asylums. Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care (Verso, 2015) which came out in 2014 as La Repubblica dei Matti. Franco Basaglia e la psichiatria radicale in Italia, 1961-1978 (Feltrinelli).

The event is in Italian with English simultaneous translation.

To reserve a place go here.


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