Mental retardation: A photo essay


In 1965, Senator Robert Kennedy visited several “institutions for the mentally retarded” in New York State. His descriptions of the conditions he found there, which were published widely in the media, shocked the American public and angered those in charge of the institutions.

Later that year, Dr. Burton Blatt visited five such institutions in the eastern states, with his photographer friend Fred Kaplan, who, armed with a hidden camera attached to his belt, took hundreds of photographs of their “darkest corridors and vestibules”. The result was a remarkable document called Christmas In Purgatory: A Photographic Essay On Mental Retardation, published in 1974.

“There is a hell on earth,” the essay begins, “and in America there is a special inferno.” It continues:

…we know, as well as do thousands of others who have been associated with institutions for the mentally retarded, that what Senator Kennedy claimed to have seen he did see. In fact, we know personally of few institutions for the mentally retarded in the United States completely free of dirt and filth, odors, naked patients groveling in their own feces, children in locked cells, horribly crowded dormitories, and understaffed and wrongly staffed facilities.

(Via Ectomo)



  1. #1 CopperKettle
    July 3, 2008

    Translated, reposted at my LiveJournal:

  2. #2 Dr.M D vaidya
    September 28, 2009

    After the innovation of finger print based brain mapping identification , the problems of brain cells can be re established under the age of 12. It is more effective in children. All kind of brain problems can be identified and re- arranged as active brain cells using 1432 waves in different amplitudes and wave lengths. The bio-metric finger print based characteristic study of Dr.M D Vaidya was initially focused to the hidden caliber and extra brilliancy of a person. But now it is given a clear proof in brain mapping and genetic based re-activation of conductivity of a human brain cell is more perfect in development of mental retardation by many means. If MR is identified with in the age of 12, it can be solved with out limits. it was innovated and proved 100% accurate re organisation of brain cells and any mentally retarded can be normal or more brilliant.dr.M D vaidya

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