(Dr. Guislain Museum ‘In de Marge’ 2011)
Romania, Jan 2001: The Lords of Gheja.
Gheja, a little village in Transsylvania, Romania. Once upon a time the castle of Gheja was a hunting house of a Hongarian Baron.
Today the castle houses the psychiatric section of the local hospital. All men living here are psychiatric patients, which can mean a lot of different things in Romania, mentally or physically handicapped, tramps, alcoholics, schizophrenics, depressed.
In 1992, when I first visited the institute living conditions were terrible. patient had no clothes, lived in their dirt, the building was falling in pieces, there were not enough beds for everyone, and therapy consisted of heavy drugs.
Eight years later the situation had changed for better. With the help of a small foreign aid-project staff and villagers started to treat patients as human beings.
Renovation of the building had started, therapy projects have started. Patients are involved in little tasks like gardening, cooking and cleaning their rooms.