Photographer Carlo Gianferro is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From his project ‘The Remainders Of Madness‘. To see Carlo’s body of work click on any image.
The Sao Pedro Psychiatric Hospital, founded in 1874, was the first psychiatric institution in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Its complex, once very interesting from an architectural point of view, is now decaying and run down. The hospital was built according to the idea of a city within a city, in order to fulfill a segregation of “madness”. From 2001 new policies are pursued in order to reduce the number of inmates through external medical treatments. Today the hospital hosts 246 inmates, unlike 1970 when they were around 5,000. The 2001 federal law, based on the reform operated by Italian Psychiatrist Franco Basaglia, aims to turn the Psychiatric Hospitals from a place of segregation into institutions involved in the care of mental health. The inmates are not only those who are seriously ill, but also those who suffer for the lack of family members or for extreme poorness . Walking through the halls, the rooms, the lounge or the common you come across the “remainders of madness”, the result of former incorrect treatments. You can feel their deep pain; you can hear the suffering screams caused by the responsibilities of the previous institutions. The new treatments aim to grant a decent life to all patients. Doctors, nurses and the staff are trying to apply new psychiatric methodologies, with the hope that in the future such photographs won’t be no longer seen.
Sao Pedro Psychiatric Hospital, Porto Alegre, Brazil – 2013
By Carlo Gianferro