Panopticum Lisboeta

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  • Panopticum Lisboeta
    _Panóptico Hospital Miguel Bombarda
  • Near the center of Lisbon, in Hospital Miguel Bombarda, its one of the most important buildings at Portugal of the end of the 19th century and beginnings of the 20th. It is a pavilion, more precisely a Panoptic that was projected in 1892 by José Maria Nepomuceno, to mental patients considered as dangerous The term is used to name an ideal model of prison projected by the philosopher Jeremy Benthem in 1789. Because of it's circular shape in which the saddles were distributed and because of a watch tower placed in the center, the guards could control more easily the prisoners.
    Panoptic is also a term used by Michel Foucault in his book "Surveiller et Punir: Naissance de la prison" in which he analyses the social and theoretical mechanisms that would change the penal systems during modernism, ending up to see the prison the most humanist way to punish who break the law.

    Panopticum Lisboeta arises from a academic project in which we had freedom to decide what object we would like to produce, having just rules as, the creation of an editorial object inspired in the building and in the patients who lived there.

    Having visited the place, what i noticed more was the pressure that the building exercised in who was there. Besides that the draws e goods of the patients captured my attention, what increased my curiosity about the reasons that made those people being there.
    Many of them were there probably without having any kind of mental problem, having been just people too different for the period they lived, while other were just living in parallel worlds.

    Beyond the intersection I made with the historic references above and the history of the Hospital, I made a connection between films as, Jaime(1974) by António Reis e Margarida Cordeiro, a film that was about one of the patients that lived in the panoptic, and Recordações da Casa Amarela (1989) by João César Monteiro.

    The object I had created comprises four book, one about contextualisation, other dedicated to the patients and their diseases, goods and ways of expression, other book was about the cinematographic references and another is a depliant of the panoptic which can make the reader meet the place and at the same time to have a little notion of the pressure that was caused by the building.