Impressions from a closed psychiatric ward

[Editor’s note: to ensure anonymity of the patient data as well as the institution, all of the facts and quotes included have been altered, leaving a representative, but in no way replicable account. Further, the author has asked to remain anonymous.]

“When suffering from a mental illness one no longer has a free will.”

A floor plan of the ward should have been included here, illustrating the conditions in which patients are being forced to ‘live’. However, to ensure I am not legally compromised (trade and corporate secrets etc.), I have been advised against including this. In the hope of enabling some insight here is a brief description:

The ward’s capacity is 30 patients, though this is frequently surpassed. Patient rooms range from approx. 8㎡ to 20㎡, most of them double rooms, each with a toilet and shower. Some rooms can be locked from the inside, most cannot. The total garden space is less than 500㎡, divided into smaller segments, one length no longer than 25m. The total community space is approx. 60㎡, in which patients eat, relax, socialise and watch TV.

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Aus geteilten Städten – From divided cities


Gemeinsam beschäftigt uns die Dynamik der „geteilten Städte“, das Trennende und Verbindende, wo Menschen unterschiedlicher Kultur auf dichtem Lebens-Raum Distanz und Nähe suchen, sich um Ordnung bemühen, anders sein wollen ohne sich zu vereinzeln, fliehen und zueinander finden. In Gedichten und Photos suchen und finden wir menschliche Wegweiser.

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‘Hey Cabral, where’s Amarildo?’


Versão em português  (English version below)

Ei, Cabral, cadê o Amarildo?

Essa foi a pergunta gritada por dezenas de pessoas nas ruas do Brasil durante alguns meses em 2013.

Amarildo Dias de Souza é um ajudante de pedreiro brasileiro que ficou conhecido nacionalmente por conta de seu desaparecimento, no dia 14 de julho de 2013, após ter sido detido por policiais militares, na Favela da Rocinha, em direção a sede da Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora do bairro, ironia que essa mesma polícia que foi elaborada com os princípios da polícia de proximidade, um conceito que vai além da polícia comunitária e tem sua estratégia fundamentada na parceria entre a população e as instituições da área de Segurança Pública. Atualmente quem está no comando das Unidades de Polícia Pacificadoras é o ex-comandante do Batalhão de Operações Especiais (Bope) da Polícia Militar (conhecida sua pela maneira “efusiva” de atuação).

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WMDs: Widespread Media Deception and the 2003 invasion of Iraq


Air strikes on Iraq!’ Does this remind you of anything? The 1990 Gulf War? Or, maybe the 2003 invasion? Either-or, we’re here again.  Less than three years after the last convoy of British and American troops left Iraq following the humiliating 2003 invasion, the United States and its allies are beginning another intervention in Iraq – this time to combat the growing threat of the Islamic State (or IS, or ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever they liked to be called).

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“…no more right to the information they requested than if they were being executed in the electric chair, they would have no right to know whether OG&E or PSO were providing the electricity; if they were being hanged, they would have no right to know whether it be cotton or nylon rope; or if they were being executed by firing squad, they would have no right to know whether it be by Winchester or Remington ammunition,”

Justice Taylor Steven

On 29th April 2014, Clayton Lockett was executed by the state of Oklahoma. Mr. Lockett was to be executed by lethal injection but in fact succumbed to a heart attack 43 minutes after the initial injection. During this time his lawyer, who was observing, stated that Clayton began to struggle and attempt to speak. This is not the first incidence of an inmate in America taking an inordinate amount of time to die by lethal injection. In Ohio in January 2014 Dennis McGuire took 26 minutes to pass from lethal injection, during which he is said to have struggled for air, made choking sounds and clutched his fists, the week before a judge granting the execution stated that “You’re not entitled to a pain-free execution”.

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