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"A Procession of Them: The Plight of the Mentally Disabled"

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Photograph from A Procession of Them - Eugene Richards

Photograph from "A Procession of Them" - Eugene Richards

by Amanda Aldinger

Photojournalist Eugene Richards has brought his haunting visual expose of the deeply inhumane treatment of mentally ill patients at institutions in Mexico, Argentina, Armenia, Hungary, Paraguay, and Kosovo to the loop in his exhibit, “A Procession of Them: The Plight of the Mentally Disabled” at Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery.

A volunteer for the Mental Disability Rights International, Richards’ photographs documents his travels to various mental institutions humans chained up like animals in dirty, decrepit cells; patients living in their own excrement; and a complete and utter abandonment of regard for basic human rights.

Richards brazenly captures a series of horrific images whose reality seems incomprehensible, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. Although difficult to view, his exhibition bravely calls attention to a problem clearly rampant in certain areas of the world – inciting a necessary awareness and bringing a rarely discussed issue into central focus.

Small and intimate, Roosevelt’s Gage Gallery is the perfect space for this exhibit.  The plain and unpretentious space allows the photographs to speak for themselves.

The exhibit is on display until May 14 – the Gage Gallery is open from 9-5, Monday – Friday.

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