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Ann Dixon's picture

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amweiner's picture

Chapter 3 introduces the idea of either confining or sending away a mental impaired (or percieved mentally impaired) family member. I want to discuss this origin story to draw comparison to how mental institutions work today. I want to analyze the fact that towns would pay individuals to take care of the "crazy" people and how families would lock their own kin in a basement or room. It was illuminating to understand these roots because I see similar trends in mental institutions, nursing homes, and prisons today. 

Erasmus's picture

My interest was really sparked by the portraits Riva analyzed of subjects who looked clearly deformed but weren't assumed to be disabled.  Artists have, for generations, depicted deformed subjects to express emotional points, or a warped world, or more complicated art stuff I don't understand, but people just don't assume disability.  Whereas, Riva described how when people view portraits of people with disabilities they immediately have these visceral reactions of pity and pain.  So I'm curious what makes the portraits of warped individuals she showed different from the portraits of disabled individuals?  They provoke such sharply divergent reactions.  What difference is inherent in them that accounts for the divergence of reaction?