Bedlam on the Streets by Caroline Knowles

By Caroline Knowles

What occurs while the mad are set free of the asylum and there's nowhere for them to head? This hard-hitting and arguable new booklet lines the phrases on which the mad occupy the city's streets, homeless shelters, buying centres and speedy nutrients shops. This social geography of insanity is positioned in the broader parameters of structures of social welfare and globalization, arguing that the 'community psychological healthiness care' process is admittedly a method of forget. Bedlam at the Streets is a richly textured ethnography combining stark photographic photographs of individuals and locations with an exam of urban house and the voices of these that we label ''mad''.

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Extra resources for Bedlam on the Streets

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Seeing buildings and land in these terms is highly significant in understanding the political agendas of this and other cities. Like the factories and warehouses, churches and convents have new custodians, new memories and new purposes. They form a part of the new moral and political order servicing the swelling ranks of the city’s poor and the demands made by the lifestyles of the affluent. The province of Québéc today is a highly modern, secular and urban society. Eighty per cent of its population is urban-based and one-third of this is concentrated in Montréal itself (Health Services and Promotion Branch of Health and Welfare Canada 1990: 113).

An example is found in the narratives of popular culture that Phil Cohen (1996) writes about as ‘racialized territory’ in London’s Docklands. In these stories narrative and place (as spaces with identities) underscore each other: the symbolism of race and its narratives of collective suffering and exclusion/belonging, entitlement and inclusion mark territory. In Montréal narratives of racial suffering remain private matters and hence are not mapped onto the city landscape symbolically and territorially in the same way as Cohen’s examples in East London.

My children, who grew up there, think of it as ‘home’. The existence of the system I describe is offensive. It dehumanizes us all and deserves to be exposed. The final product – the image – is also a technical accomplishment: definition and detail background, framing and cutting of the image are all-important concerns. In consulting me over these decisions Dabert had to ‘read’ the visual text for me and advise on the techniques that would provide the desired result. In deciding which images to include in the text, I set out some broad themes and he selected the images that achieved the most powerful effects.

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