Colifata

In a broadcast by Monocle Weekly  (25 minutes in) this week mention was made of the work of Radio La Colifata based in Dr. José T. Borda Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Barracas, Buenos Aires. 

A Google search brought up an English language piece  For 91 Days in Buenos Aires from which the following excerpt is taken:

“Dr. Alfredo Olivera was still a psychology student when he dreamed up the idea for Radio Colifata. By putting inmates in charge of a radio station and letting them tell their stories, many benefits could be realized at once. The inmates would gain a sense of autonomy, allowed to talk about whatever they wanted with the assurance that people around Buenos Aires would be listening. Those who hear their stories on the radio might come to the realization that not all asylum patients are dangerous lunatics, bolstering the reputation of mental health. And by giving the patients a voice, Radio La Colifata would help restore sense of community which is lost by being locked away.”

As the blog points out: Colifata is lunfardo for “amiable crazy person. Lunfardo being a dialect of the lower classes in Buenos Aires.  According to the Monocle broadcast this term is meant by the language community to be used in an endearing way.

What fascinates me is the psychological welfare aspect attributed to this broadcasting for the patients in this mental institution.  How true are the words when you consider them in the light of social media activity for the wider population using Facebook, Twitter etc. 

So the borrowed paragraph from above could perhaps be rewritten in the following way:

“By putting people in charge of a facebook page, twitterfeed and letting them tell their stories, many benefits could be realized at once. People would gain a sense of autonomy, allowed to talk about whatever they wanted with the assurance that people around the world, near and far w[c]ould be listening. Those who hear their stories on the radio might come to the realization that not all people are dangerous lunatics, bolstering the reputation and understanding of people around the world. And by giving the people a voice, the internet would help restore sense of community which is lost by being locked away.”

One final point comes to me from the above creation.  The difference between “would” and “could” is the difference between the masculine and the feminine.  That needs further teasing out…………

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