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Memoria e Ricerca

The experiments at Kingsley Hall and Villa 21 in London. Myth, Memory and History

di John Foot
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 47 (2014), p. 65

This article will look at the Villa 21 and Kingsley Hall ‘experiment’ in London carried out in the 1960s by a group of radical psychiatrists and others including R.D. Laing, David Cooper and others. The article will examine historical approaches to ‘Villa 21’ and Kingsley Hall, myths connected to these experiments, the reality of what happened there and their legacy and influence. It will also look at the way that Franco Basaglia and others reacted to Villa 21 and Kingsley Hall and the debates over alternatives to the asylum in relation to existing public institutions and alternative places of care. The article will also draw an extended comparison between the Kingsley Hall experiment and the role played by Gorizia in the 1960s, under the leadership of Franco Basaglia. Keywords: Psychiatry, Anti-psichiatry, R.D. Laing, David Cooper, Franco Basaglia, Franca Ongaro