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HOSPITAL SILENCE

Maternity ward, Psychiatry, Emergencies, Geriatrics, from 1998 to 2004 Samuel Bollendorff’s work focused on the public hospital system in France, questioning the place of the individual in a clinical environment. His work was published in many periodicals such as LʼExpress, ELLE, Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, and shown as a projection at the photography festival Visa pour lʼImage.

Unconcerned by the medical aspect, he remained loyal to a social approach of the hospitals’ role. Guided by the passage of time and the close relationships that were tied during this period, he searched patiently to understand the lives of these people brought together by illness and the urge to care for others.
The hospital over the years, the hospital over our lives…

Maternity ward
From the birth of Cécile in the maternity ward of Henri Mignot hospital in Versailles…
…to the ward of the University Hospital of Nice…
…or the first instants of Dylan in the maternity ward of Villeneuve Saint Georges.
An immersion into the social dimension of the hospital.

Psychiatry
The psychiatric hospital center (C.H.P) of Ville Evrard serves the whole department of Seine-Saint-Denis (93). Within it you can cross a lot of young people, or not so young, often with a difficult social background, forgotten in the suburbs. The sadness of the working class suburbs, unemployment, a population whose lives have become unbearable… The distress wrecks those who are most fragile, and when the social or family environment don’t help either, in the end it’s the hospital. The stays become more and more regular, shorter and shorter. The receiving structures are no longer adapted. You no longer go to the asylum, but to the hospital, sometimes for just a few days.

Emergencies
The emergency services of the Marseille hospitals are the only ones in France that require a police presence at night. At the Northern Hospital, between medical and social emergencies, the medical professionals act as a buffer between the firemen and the families, between the families and the patients, between the patients and the police…
The emergency service thus becomes the reception for all the ills of the Northern neighbourhoods, fighting against time, against the night and the heat, the personnel living among the angst bombs it manages to defuse…for a while.

Heatwave
Part of the “Emergencies” instalment will be dedicated to the current events of summer 2003 and to the issues raised by the place of senior citizens in today’s society.
Emergency Service of the Saint Antoine Hospital – Paris.
CHU d’Angers – Avicennes Hospital in Bobigny – CHU
of Beaujon – Clichy. CHU of Nice.


Geriatrics
More and more often, the elderly find themselves abandoned in the geriatric wards of hospitals. When they become reliant on outside help, the families no longer have the means nor the desire to look after them. Today the waiting lists are so long that the geriatric services’ beds no longer have the time to cool down between two patients. Lonelier and lonelier, the aged know that once they enter these wards, they will no longer get out alive. It is then that the waiting begins. Waiting for death to come. The giving up on hope, the feeling of being assisted and dependent, become stronger than the will to live. Many of these hospitals have the look and feel of dying grounds. But the Houdan hospital and its team have decided to preserve the lust for life in their institution…

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