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Demonstrations in front of the parliament, Ljubljana, March 23 1993. Photo: Tone Stojko. © Muzej za novejšo zgodovino Slovenije [National Museum of Contemporary History], collection Tone Stojko, inv. n. TS19932303_22.

The workshop “Managing Maladjustment in the Modern World. Perspectives from Southeastern Europe” will be held at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka and will gather researchers who will discuss on the topics related to the cultural history of psychiatry in Yugoslav area. The presentation of Jelena Seferović will cosider the issue of the political context of the emergence and development of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital dr. Ivan Barbot Popovača, established in 1934, in interwar Yugoslavia.




The presentation will critically address the political circumstances of the founding and activities of the Department of the Belgrade State Hospital for Mental Illness, located in Popovača, today known as a Neuropsychiatric Hospital of Dr. Ivan Barbot Popovača. The focus will be on reflection of the mechanisms of cooperation between the Hospital, its administration in Belgrade and the Royal Department of Social Policy and Health. The presentation will also discuss the structuring and organization of everyday life of its patients.

Research questions will be considered with regard to the health and social welfare policies of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the period since 1934., the official opening of this institution, until the collapse of the Kingdom in 1941. The issue of exposure will be contextualized in relation to the psychiatric discourse which prevailed then in nearby European countries. The theme will be reflected from the cultural anthropological and historical perspective. The archival research implied the reading and interpretation of official records on the work of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital Dr. Ivan Barbot dating from 1934 to 1941. Previous research has shown signs of (non) consensus in collaboration between the Hospital in Popovača with its founder, the Belgrade State Hospital for Mental Illness, and with the Royal Department of Social Policy and Health.

The sources analyzed so far indicate that the strategy of managing the Hospital in Popovača was based on authoritarianism, which in the pre-war years was partly destabilized with regard to upcoming changes of political  authority.



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