[ EPF 2013 SHORTLIST ]
ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
To this day, I have extensively photographed the problematic of mental affliction in Ghana, Togo and Kosovo. My long term goal is to create a global project on mental illness and the great inequalities present in its therapies. Since my last trip to the western African region, I have also developed relationship with local associations in many eastern European countries (Serbia, Moldavia, Albania, Macedonia) attempting to improve the local treatment of mental sufferers. My photographs can serve in raising money for their actions.
I started my work on mental illness during spring 2011 by photographing the Accra Psychiatric Hospital’s conditions. I realized very quickly that Ghanaian hospitals enclosed only a small proportion of the mentally afflicted citizens. It’s only a few days later that I first heard of “prayers camps”. Prayers camps are places of great human rights abuses. Most “patients” staying there are chained to trees or walls with short chains financed by their own families. It is a phenomenon occurring in many west African countries.
Since this trip, I have extended my research to Eastern Europe where the conditions are left somewhere in between West African and West European standards. In 2012, I photographed the Stime hospital which requires urgent attention as it has become unfunded through corruption and ethnic discrimination.
Solving the problem of mental patient’s treatment is not easy and one even western societies can sometimes struggle with. However, simple education through photography can raise awareness, fund raising and contribute to structural changes and medical development. Information can go a long way into making citizens suffering from mental disease more understandable and therefore more treatable for their societies.
Scott Typaldos was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1977. In 1998, while he was studying movie editing in film school, he discovered photography which soon overshadowed the rest. In his first years, Scott’s photography was centered around “diary” photography, a theme he still photographs to this day. During the Spring of 2007, he photographed the oil searchers of the Lambarn region in Gabon. This accidental documentary contributed to a change in the manner he photographed. Since 2010, he has been extensively photographing and researching the topic of mental illness throughout the world. He has won the Proof award grant in 2012, was selected for Foto Espana descubrimientos (2012) and won the 3rd place of the PGB Photo awards. He participated in Carnem’s workshop and 3rd exhibition in 2012-2013. In May of 2013, his work “Waxed in Black” about funeral rites in Ghana will be exhibited at the Head on Photo Festival in Sidney. He also is in the shortlist of EPF 2013.