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Carlo Gianferro | Mad About You / A Short Story About Love

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – A portrait of Donatella and Gabriele in Piazza Unità, the symbol of Trieste.

“Love is a serious mental disease”
We’d better start from this sentence of Plato to talk about the love story of Gabriele & Donatella and their psychic conditions.
The meaning of the ancient greek philosopher’s sentence describes the emotional state that love could provoke in all of us, carrying us to emotional extreme states, to psychological excitements and irrationality, love takes away our faculty of evaluating reality.

If love is a serious mental disease I think we all are happy to be mad.
Donatella and Gabriele are happy.
Their lives are consequences of families who couldn’t express their emotionality since childhood, this loss of emotionality bought them to psychic sufferings and periods in sanitary structures.
In 2005 they got married, from the moment they met, they support each other, they have everything they couldn’t have before and fully share everything. They work as actors at a theatre academy for “mad people” in the italian city of Trieste.

Trieste was the fisrt city in which psychiatric hospitals where closed and gradually replaced by a whole range of community-based services, including settings for acute in-patient care, This happened thanks to battles of the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia who obtained in 1978 the law 180.

Dr. Basaglia claimed that doctors have to cure mental diseases but also partecipate and help the patients to establish social relationships with the outside life; he argued that patients do not need only treatments, but also human relations, Charlie and Donatella are a succesfull result of this far-sighted view of Dr. Basaglia.

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – Donatella and Gabriel play under the statue of “Marco Cavallo” inside the former psychiatric hospital of San Giovanni in Trieste. This statue is not simply a work of art, but also the symbol of a revolutionary experience that changed the history of psychiatric hospitals. Franco Basaglia invited a group of people (a sculptor, a director, a teacher, a photographer, and others) to spend some time in a mental hospital. They have lived for nearly two months in the hospital of San Giovanni and was able to organize a large group of patients to create a collective work. The original idea was to build a house made ​​of cardboard, so as to involve the largest possible number of patients. At the end was built a wooden frame and paper mache mascot in honor of Marco Cavallo, the horse that was used to transport the laundry.

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – in their bedroom

Trieste, Italy July 2012 – Donatella is seen in the underpass of Barcola, the popular beach of Trieste. Donatella begun her path of mental suffering and his contact with neurologists at the age of 18 years old for a depression that resulted in a severe nervous anorexia, due to the fact that she couldn’t accept one more transfer of city. At the age of 30 she begun persecution mania and in 1995she started a mandatory medical treatment.

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – Coffee break in a bar near Piazza Unità in Trieste. Under the eefects of psychiatric drugs they can drink only soft drinks

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – At the end of their daily trials they have a meal in the tavern near their home in San Giovanni, a popular district inhabited by the most disadvantaged people

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – Donatella and Gabriel at the pier of Trieste. On the background the old port in disuse.

Trieste, Italy November 2012 – On A bus to the city center. Their day is a succession of moments of affection.

Trieste, Italy December 2012 – Gabriele during the show “Crucifigge. The passion irreverent health of madness.” Gabriele was born with physical problems of spasticity of both legs and hands. his right foot has been operated eight times. Today he walks with some difficulties, but independently. When he was a boy he started a path of alcoholism and drug addiction, from which he came out today. He has been cured from thirty years by the Psychiatric Clinic of the Department of Mental Health of Trieste; he receives a disability pension and a grant from Education to Work by the Social Services of the City of Trieste.

Trieste, Italy December 2012 – During a break of the dress rehearsal of “Crucifigge. The passion irreverent health of Madness”, last play of the Academy of Madness.

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – Donatella wearing her wedding dress. The ceremony took place in Ferrara in 1995.

Trieste, Italy August 2012 – Donatella and Gabriele in the hallway of one of the buildings of the former psychiatric hospital in San Giovanni. Inside the building is housed the Academy of Madness and in one of the rooms throughout the tests of the shows. On the right the portrait of Dr. Basaglia.

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One Response to Carlo Gianferro | Mad About You / A Short Story About Love

  1. andrea buzzichelli 9 August 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    veramente bello!

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