The Mother, the Son and the Madness

Shared Experiences of a Chronic Illness in Niamey (Niger)

  • Gina Aït Mehdi Université libre de Bruxelles
Keywords: madness, chronicity, families’ relationships, intersubjectivity, creativity

Abstract

Khadija lives with her son, whose unpredictable mental disorders have brought profound, existential uncertainty into the life of this Nigerien family. With such chaotic circumstances confronting her, the mother puts great  effort into recreating stability out of these turmoils, while not abandoning the hope for their disappearance of the latter. Beyond the practical and narrative (re)positioning of filial relationships reveals in Khadija’s accounts of her son’s illness, this article analyses how her endeavours keep the family together.

Author Biography

Gina Aït Mehdi, Université libre de Bruxelles

Gina Aït Mehdi est doctorante en anthropologie à l’Université libre de Bruxelles et membre du Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains (LAMC). Elle mène actuellement une thèse sur l’expérience de la folie à Niamey (Niger). À partir d’une ethnographie de l’ordinaire de vie de personnes souffrantes et de leur entourage, son travail interroge les transformations, relationnelles, identitaires et morales, inhérentes à ces expériences existentielles.

Published
2018-05-01
How to Cite
Aït Mehdi, Gina. 2018. “The Mother, the Son and the Madness: Shared Experiences of a Chronic Illness in Niamey (Niger)”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 23 (May):154-62. https://doi.org/10.36950/tsantsa.2018.23.7317.