Introduction to the topic – Gina Aït Mehdi, Romain Tiquet, Translated and edited by Cadenza Academic Translations “Considering the everyday of madness” in Politique africaine Volume 157, Issue 1, January 2020, pages 17 to 38
The above illustration comes from a 2001 competition entitled Regards d’enfants (Children’s Views) organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote mental health. Drawn by a primary school pupil in Niamey, Niger, the picture shows a “madman” perched on a heap of garbage and separated from his mother, who appears to be having trouble helping him. For this child, madness is associated with a category suggesting certain manifestations (dirtiness, nudity, or dishevelment) considered socially unacceptable in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, the presence of the mother in this drawing points to the role of the family, whose support is seen as an essential moral obligation in the face of (mental) illness.
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