Museum of Madness: From Institutions to People #2

Call for proposals: Medium projects
Priority area: Increased support for civic education and human rights
Project duration: 1 April 2023–31 March 2023
Project budget: EUR 49.921,33

From 1949 to 2004, the Cmurek Castle housed the Institute for Mental and Nervous Diseases. Today, it houses the Museum of Madness, which has grown to become a hotspot for discussion on mental health and madness – two topics that ordinary environments typically push aside. Talking about people with long-term mental health issues remains a taboo and it is not generally known that these people are ostracized, invisible, and silenced. There is a general conviction that they are well taken care of if they are fed and given a place to sleep and somewhere away from the public eye. Institutions are wrongly perceived as good solutions. Moreover, it can often be heard that deinstitutionalization is a utopian concept.

The project dubbed From Institutions to People #2 will aim to expand the network of visitors to the Museum of Madness. The objective is to use the historical case of the institute in Trate and other case studies to teach visitors why placing people in long-term care institutions has negative consequences for people, communities, and society.

A special focus will be placed on young people, students of various subject fields, and secondary school students. They will have the opportunity to learn about various aspects of everyday life in institutions and deep-dive into real-world examples. We will support experts (i.e. social work centers; education, work and care centers; day-care centers; non-governmental organizations; and other long-term care support services) providing community services and striving to prevent violations of human rights by assisting them with the implementation of their activities and supporting their efforts for changes. We will enable lecturers to combine the learning content in their programs with real-world personal stories. We will continue to collect testimonials of people with real-life experiences of living in an institution and/or psychiatric experiences. Like the museum, which strives for inclusion and accessibility, the exhibition entitled the Infinite Madness in Trate (Neskončne Trate norosti in the Slovene language) will be made accessible to the blind and partially sighted. This way, we act inclusively and provide access to culture to a broader audience.

Contact person: Darja Farasin

Project promoter: Museum of Madness in Trate