Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Giampiero Assumma

“The Lower World” is the title of Giampiero Assumma’s photographic long term project (2001-2014) on human alienation within the context of the last six criminal lunatic asylums in Italy, named ‘Ospedale Psichiatrico Giudiziario’ (O.P.G).

These facilities, with the exception of one pioneering institution that was purely a psychiatric hospital, showed the characteristics of penitentiary institutes. That situation represented the evidence of a long standing debate, about crimes when related to mental illness and sentences as a cure, to serve into an institution which combines both medical treatment and strict social control. In recent years a Governmental investigation, reported several cases of violation of human rights, and all the last Italian judiciary mental institutions began their final dismission from 2015 until now.

Beyond the inevitable political foreground, Giampiero Assumma’s approach is quite far from photojournalistic visuals. He offers his own constructive interpretation of mental illness, exposing the vulnerability inherent to the human condition.These images ultimately witness all those shared acts of resistance, that humans have always brought foreword to avoid being deleted from their personal history.

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