A visual record of madness in 50s France

Luminous Lint has published a collection of evocative images by photographer Jean-Philippe Charbonnier who documented French psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric patients in the 1950s.

Some of the most important developments in psychiatry have happened in France.

Physician Phillipe Pinel was one of the first people to advocate humane treatment for patients with mental illness and epilepsy.

A famous painting shows him overseeing the removal of chains from patients at the Salpêtrière Hospital in 1795 Paris.

The photo collection shows French psychiatry in the 1950s and contain both hopeful and desperate scenes.

This sort of historical record is important both to realise how far psychiatry has developed since these bygone days, and to pick up where change still needs to occur.

Link to Jean-Philippe Charbonnier photo collection (via BB).

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