Perchè torniamo sul tema della salute mentale? Un po’ per le numerose richieste che arrivano, a seguito del reportage di Nicola Gronchi sull’ex ospedale psichiatrico di Volterra. Ma anche, e soprattutto, perchè è un tema che ci sta a cuore. In Italia, un po’ ovunque, ci sono ancora tanti edifici abbandonati che un tempo ospitavano la follia. Riscoprirli, entrarci, scattare foto, mostrarle, vuol dire dare voce ad un silenzio per troppo tempo confinato tra mura di pietra in luoghi ameni (all’esterno) ma tristi e dolorosi (all’interno).
E significa anche riportare alla memoria personaggi, come quello di cui ci parla oggi – ancora una volta – Nicola Gronchi, che hanno portato scintille di illuminata umanità nel silenzio della follia umana. Noi di S4C continuiamo a seguire quel silenzio, a rintracciarlo e dargli…un suono.
Maggiano: il silenzio dopo la follia
(testo e foto: Nicola Gronchi/S4C)
L’Ospedale psichiatrico di Lucca ha origine nella seconda metà del XVIII secolo, quando il Monastero dei Canonici Lateranensi di Santa Maria di Fregionaia venne soppresso e adibito a struttura per il ricovero e la custodia dei folli, come dipendenza dello Spedale cittadino di San Luca della Misericordia.
Dal 1772 al 1775 furono realizzati i primi lavori di adattamento dell’ex complesso monastico alla nuova struttura manicomiale. Il 20 aprile 1773, con l’insediamento del personale, fu ufficialmente aperto lo Spedale de’ Pazzi di Fregionaia e il giorno seguente arrivarono i primi undici malati, provenienti dal Carcere cittadino della Torre.
Maggiano è come altri manicomi. Tanti edifici su un colle verde e tranquillo nell’entroterra lucchese.
Lavanderie, officine, cucine, una Chiesa e molti dormitori.
La struttura nel corso di duecento anni ha ospitato sino a duemila malati ed è stata diretta personalmente da Mario Tobino.
Allo scrittore si devono anche altre importanti migliorie strutturali, come la costruzione del giardino della direzione, l’infermeria e la sezione infantile, che dimostrano la grande attenzione di questo medico e intellettuale per il disagio psichico. Nelle sue opere traspare il senso di rispetto e comprensione per i pazienti, così come emergono chiaramente le sue posizioni rispetto alle decisioni politiche che, con le Leggi 180 e 833 del 1978, hanno portato alla progressiva chiusura degli ospedali psichiatrici in Italia.
——————–Why do we keep featuring the theme of mental illeness and ex Asylums in Italy (but it’s common in many countries around the World)? First, because of the many requests following the success of Nicola Gronchi story on the ex Asylum of Volterra. And then, most of all, because Shoot 4 Change is committed in seeking those silent stories of abandoned places once inhabited by madness and pain. And now filled with silence and the remains of those suffering ones.
We want to bring back to life that silence and, above all, remind those illuminated intellectuals and doctors who managed to bring sparkles of humanity in those places. Read this story…. You’ll see what I mean.
Maggiano: silence after the madness
(Text and photo: Nicola Gronchi/S4C)
The Psychiatric Asylum of Lucca has its origin in the second half of the eighteenth century, when the Lateran Canons Monastery of Santa Maria di Fregionaia was closed and used as a structure for the housing and care of the insane, as a dependency of the Hospital of the city of San Luca della Misericordia.
From 1772 to 1775 the first works of adaptation to the new structure of the former monastery complex mental hospital started. On April 20, 1773, with the arrival of personnel, the Hospital de ‘Pazzi di Fregionaia was officially opened and the next day the first eleven patients arrived from the prison city of Tower.
Laundries, garages, kitchens, a church but especially many dormitories with beds, and big, huge rooms where dozens and dozens of creatures dragged themselves without any sense and no occupation other than keeping smoking in the hope of “getting well soon” and that ” the brain can get back what it once was. “
Time is meaningless.
No one owns anything, clothes and even underwear are bought by the Administration; worn, washed and put back in a big pile and then be redistributed randomly.
In a mental hospital it is as if time had forgotten to scroll through; every day is dim: Easter is equal to October 6, as Sunday is to Tuesday. Most patients do not remember their date of birth.
Marietto, born 1935, was admitted to the asylum in May when she was 19 months. The reason stated on the folder, after referring to an alleged epilepsy, reads: “and refuses to eat away from home” for these reasons “why the shelter is urgent danger to himself and to others.”
The early years saw the prevalence of mere custody as the hospital systems, while from the second decade of the nineteenth century, thanks to the work of Giovanni Buonaccorsi, manual rehabilitative therapy of patients was adopted as an employment. So, while the men were mainly employed in agricultural work, women were employed in jobs of cleaning and rehabilitation.
The structure, over two hundred years, has housed up to two thousand patients and has been personally directed by Mario Tobino in the years 1955 to 1957, a period in which several initiatives were started to involve patients in the social life, opening the place of hospitalization to the outside world. He is also important for other structural improvements, such as the construction of the gardens, the infirmary and the children section, showing the great care of this doctor – and intellectual – for mental illness.
His works reflected the sense of respect and understanding for patients, as well as his positions about the political decisions, the Laws of 1978, that led to the progressive closing of mental Asylum in Italy.
Tobino led a battle with a few other colleagues against those who denied the existence of a specificity of mental illness. And this made him a target for critics.
In his forty years of activity in Maggiano, Tobino very rarely moved away from that place, the two rooms of the Medici House where he lived for a long time and that the the Province of Lucca granted as his home even after retirement.
On the wall of Casa dei Medici there is a plaque inscribed with verses of his masterpiece, “My life is here, in the Asylum of Lucca. Here are my feelings unwind. Here, I manifest sincere. Here I see sunrises, sunsets and time runs in my attention. Inside a room of the Asylum I study men and love them. Here I wait Glory and Death. Hence I leave for the holidays. Here, I have returned so far. And my desire is to make every grain of this area a quiet, tidy, universal language. “
Today the imposing structure and the surrounding park, in a poor state of preservation, are waiting for a new destination. Only recently, the house where Mario Tobino lived has been restored and made accessible with an accurate reconstruction of its accommodation.