This work was first published as Earning A Token Of Self Respect in the Observer Magazine, pp.58-62, 15 October 1978. Writer: Alan Road.

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The Smoking Room

r/t: 4 min, 36 sec.

 

This story is about mental illness and the beginnings of 'care in the community'. In February 1978 I spent two weeks living in a psychiatric hospital, in a ward for long-term schizophrenics...

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Inspirations: 1 of 10

James Agee and Walker Evans. Book. 1941. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Sent in 1936 to produce a magazine article on the poverty of white sharecroppers in Alabama, Agee and photographer Evans stretched out the assignment and made a book instead. Agee didn't have a rule book to tell him what precisely to document. So he precisely documented everything: from the depth of dust in a drawer to his passionate feelings for one of his subjects. Here he observes a family preparing to be photographed by Evans: "...looking into your eyes and seeing thus, how each of you is a creature which has never in all time existed before and which shall never in all time exist again and which is not like any other and which has the grand stature and natural warmth of every other..."