Health Implications

Medical care for those affected by compulsory social measures and placements was insufficient for a long time. The arduous physical work and abuses also showed their effect during life. Not all of those affected reached old age; some were taken from life prematurely due to illness, others committed suicide. The decision for life was often a conscious step.

© Our Faces – Our Stories, 2022

Health Has Suffered

The consequences of physical exploitation, medical neglect and traumatic experiences are sometimes existential.

Insufficient medical care, poor diet and accommodation in combination with arduous physical work led to long-term physical damage for many of those affected. Violence and abuse triggered traumas. For a long time, little attention was paid to the physical and psychological impacts of placements and coercive social measures. ...

Emotional Storms Come up Again and Again

Title of the Tages-Anzeiger article: "They suffer like war veterans - Researchers examined for the first time the psychological consequences in former indentured and orphaned children." from April 21, 2015.

Tages-Anzeiger (2015)

The concept of psychic trauma has been recognized in psychology and psychiatry since the 1980s. Psychological traumas can be as serious as severe physical injuries. A permanent psychological suffering due to a past trauma is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Research compares this to those of war veterans.

Making the Pain Visible

Artistic forms of expression render experiences of violence and abuse visible. They can give shape to the unspeakable.

Color image, oil on canvas, lying on a table without a frame, depicting a curved figure, pink on a black background with traces of red.

Gabriela Pereira, 2021 (oil on canvas): The not ending cry of pain, the feeling of being skinned alive. Man stands in the corner, locked in an empty room, fighting it.

“The picture fits the theme of long-term damages”, says Gabriela Pereira. The Biel-based artist articulates the destructive and lasting effects of individual and systematic violence and discrimination experiences in her art as well as in her political engagement. She is committed to ensure that survivors of all ages can live in dignity without having to experience compulsory social measures again.

We Talk in this Film