Asylums: Hygge or Scandi Noir?

Asylums: Hygge or Scandi Noir?

thu28sep7:30 pmthu9:00 pm7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Asylums: Hygge or Scandi Noir?East Grinstead Museum

Event Details

Asylums: Hygge or Scandi Noir? by Dr Janet Bjorn

This talk draws attention to the idea of “moral treatment” in the 19th Century asylums. This proposed that all asylums of the period should have values which encouraged, entertained and employed the patients i.e. “ hygge” a Danish word meaning roughly “ comfortable”. However, “ Scandi noir” is more likely to describe the patients’ experiences as there was little privacy or recognition of individual needs.

During the talk, Dr Bjorn compares UK facilities for patients with mental illness over the past millennium with those in Denmark, a place which is close to her heart. She focuses on the asylum at Haywards Heath, and the impact that has had upon the local community.

In earlier centuries asylums (“places of refuge”) varied considerably; even well known Bedlam/Bethlem resembled the Palace of Versailles at one time. However its contemporaneous counterparts in Denmark could only be described as “ Snake-Pits”.




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(Thursday) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


East Grinstead Town Museum

Old Market Yard, Cantelupe Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3BJ

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