An emblematic place of psychiatry in France, the Maison-Blanche hospital in Neuilly-sur-Marne was built in 1900 in order to “declutter” the other asylums in the Seine department. It was entirely dedicated to women until 1970, then downgraded and disused at the turn of the 90s, to end up almost in ruins in a nature that had suddenly become invasive. This book, made up of writings and images, which intertwine, respond to each other, overlap, retraces an adventure for two in these places tormented and full of fantasies, with the hope of saving what can make history, memory and above all dignity. The desertion of the premises responds to the words and photographs of a distant universe where stories of lives have passed and still bear the experience of madness and confinement. Between the lines of registers, in the patina of the walls, in the paths of the park, the distressed corridors and the letters found, the authors have sought to question and make the words of these women resonate in the deserted asylum, as if to put in abyss the words “welcome” and “heal” in our own tormented time.
Le Grand Renoncement, voies d’asile, paroles de femmes
Franck Enjolras and Jean Noviel
144 pages, 50 reproductions