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The clinic between brackets: reflections on the role of art and militancy in the lives of mental health users


This article intends to discuss the transformative effects of militant and artistic contexts on the daily lives of mental health users. This is an ethnographic research which methodology was based on participant observation and interviews. Data analysis was based on critical and reflexive hermeneutics and phenomenological perspective. We have been able to verify that the engagement in artistic and militant groups resonates strongly in the life-worlds of these people, as well as in the elaboration of their daily life. In these places empathic relationships and alterity are built, and this development is accentuated when the group is gathered, but also has repercussions that exceed this space-time interval. The performative and symbolic elements contribute to the re-elaboration of a being-in-the-world of these subjects and require them to construct a collective scene in which roles, functions, expectations and affections are negotiated; and this process allows them to access from new positions a whole variety of social dramas. So, it is possible to consider these spaces under the therapeutic bias, but we have seen that it is precisely from the denial of this statute that its efficacy comes. Thus, we reinforce the importance of spaces open to the protagonism of the subjects for a psychiatric reform thought as a complex social process.

psychosocial attention; expanded clinic; mental health; art; militancy; Anthropology of Experience

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