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Writing the Asylum

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Writing the AsylumWriting the Asylum is a creative community of writers, academics and other arts practitioners who came together in 2022 to reflect on the archive of the former Gartnavel Royal Asylum. The archive is held by NHS/Greater Glasgow council at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, and was partially digitised by funding from Wellcome in 2017.

Twenty-eight participants were inspired by patient records, their own experiences of Gartnavel and the historical geography of the area and have contributed poetry, short fiction, life writing and image/photography. A commentary on their creative process is included, and these are wide-ranging accounts of working practice as well as personal experience. The website represents a remarkable body of work that illuminates mental ill health and recovery, bodily agency, patient experience and the repurposing of a significant health care landscape. Occasional future contributions will be invited from interested others, and a print publication and public event are scheduled in future.

It's to be hoped that Writing the Asylum will open and encourage discourse on mental ill health and creativity while celebrating a Glasgow heritage landscape and its archive, bringing both to increased public knowledge.

Funded by:  Glasgow Medical Humanities Network, University of Glasgow, Wellcome Trust

Start date:  2021

End date:  2023

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Keywords: ArchivesCreative WritingGartnavalGlasgowMental Health

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Facebook: Writing the Asylum