Gaffa Creative Precinct
This is the second chapter of a documentary on mental illness called Butterflies by Belgian photographer, Scott Typaldos.
Before the Kosovo war (1998-1999) the Štimlje psychiatric institute was financed by the Serbian government and mostly inhabited by patients from Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.
After the power change, the new Albanian dominated government financially abandoned the place, leaving the infrastructures in decay and the patients from minority ethnic groups without care. The patients, who are for the most part severe psychotics, are left roaming in the institution’s walls and garden with limited hygienic or medical care.
The building’s inside walls and sanitary conditions are dilapidated. The staff is next to invisible, - underpaid and undertrained, not willing or ready to cope with the very challenging job of caring for people in such extreme states.The facility's only psychiatrist shows up for a few hours each week in order to solve administrative problems, seldom meeting patients.
The only fix constantly distributed are meals and cigarettes which patients regularly fight each other for. It can be argued that the institution, the caretakers, the politics behind the place’s management are generating or increasing the patients’ symptoms
IIn such a domain, where time and space have uncertain values, all attempts to link are made without compromises. The mind’s interior (its anxiety, apparitions and ruminations) is telling its ordeal in the open space. The camera was inserted in between the ever vague and fluctuating border separating sanity from insanity.
Dates and Times