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CONDEMNED – Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis

“Robin Hammond has done a remarkable work documenting mental health situation and the condition of the mentally ill in Africa as a way of highlighting the unattended to regional paralysis,” Globe Afrique Media.

By Robin Hammond

“Where there is war, famine, displacement, it is the most vulnerable that suffer the greatest,”  Robin Hammond.

Abandoned by governments, forgotten by the aid community, neglected, and abused by entire societies. Africans with mental illness in regions in crisis are resigned to the dark corners of churches, chained to rusted hospital beds, locked away to live behind the bars of filthy prisons.

Some have suffered trauma leading to illness. Others were born with mental disability. In countries where infrastructure has collapsed and mental health professionals have fled, treatment is often the same – a life in chains.

I started documenting the lives of the mentally ill in African countries in crisis to raise awareness of their plight. I travelled to war ravaged areas of Congo, South Sudan, Mogadishu, and Uganda. I spent time with the displaced in refugee camps in Somalia and Dadaab. In Nigeria I went to see the impacts of corruption on facilities for the mentally ill.

After 12 years of documenting human rights issues I’ve never come across a greater assault on human dignity. These people are unseen and therefore their suffering ignored (via wedrickas). This project is being produced in the hope that no longer will ignorance be able to be used as an excuse for inaction.

For in depth information and analysis on Africa’s mental, contact:

pictures@robinhammond.co.uk FR: +33 (0) 6 95 29 75 35

About the Author:

Robin Hammond

Robin Hammond is the recipient of the Eugene Smith Fund for Humanistic Photography, a World Press Photo prize, the Pictures of the Year International World Understanding Award and four Amnesty International awards for Human Rights journalism.

He has dedicated his career to documenting human rights and development issues around the world through long-term photographic projects.

Robin won the Foto Evidence Book Award for Documenting Social Injustice which resulted in the publication of his long-term project on mental health in Africa, Condemned. The same body of work was exhibited at the photojournalism festival Visa Pour l’Image in France, and in New York, Italy, Belgium.

Winning the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award allowed him to continue his long-term photo project on life in Zimbabwe under the rule of Robert Mugabe. The work culminated in an exhibition in Paris and the publication of his first book ‘Your Wounds Will Be Named Silence’. The work went on to be exhibited at Le Recontres in Arles, France and in Milan, Rome, and Cologne and was featured in National Geographic Magazine.

Robin has made a wide variety of other photographic bodies from the impact of climate change on Pacific Island communities to rape used as a weapon of war in Congo and Bosnia, to the poisoning of ecosystems by multi-nationals in developing countries, to the rise of Africa’s middle class.

Born in New Zealand, Robin has lived in Japan, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and France.

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Globe Afrique Editorial Page provides informative viewpoints and analysis as well as addresses evolving realities, events and developments unfolding in Africa, about Africans, African diaspora, people of African heritage, or with interest in Africa.

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