Community Health Practices in Trieste (IT)

Lab of Community Health Practices

Category: Public Health

Community Member: Entrar Afuera

Type of grant: ReThink

Year: 2019

1. Who they are

Entrar Afuera is a collective transnational research group, composed of researchers and activists from different disciplines (urban studies, radical education, community healthcare, social critique). The core interest is contributing to the critique of public policies in times of austerity in Southern Europe, reflecting on the current possibilities of destabilising contemporary healthcare policies and rethinking institutions and policies in relation to the urban commons. After organising many public debates around Europe between 2014-2016, the project brought together local experiences in a space of common research. Since 2017, with the support of the National Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, video-letters from Madrid and Trieste have helped to discuss the critical aspects of community healthcare in the contemporary neoliberal context and the possibilities of developing and strengthening radical institutional practices at a local level.

2. What they did

Following the living thread of the institutions of care (healthcare, education…), Entrar Afuera came to know the public healthcare system in Trieste (Italy), developed right after the Basaglia Law in the 1970s, and which managed to build strong public and social structure that collectively assumed the responsibility of taking care of each other. In the city of Madrid, there was a strong community health experience in Vallecas back in the 1980s. Vallecas, a neighborhood the size of Trieste itself, is well known for its community and civil rights movements against long-lasting poverty and precarious living conditions. The Laboratory of Community Health Practices involved a group of young healthcare professionals from Vallecas, willing to explore community health practices and eager to transform their own specialisation programme. Over a working week, we met with professionals working in Trieste for La Collina and the regional healthcare system.

3. Why is this relevant for the FundAction community?

“But, why call this visit a laboratory and not a simple workshop? For most of us, this term was key to give us a different approach to the visit: we wanted to have space and time to meet and think with others, to share mutual concerns and questions we have towards our practice but have developed from different points of view an experience.”

Partners in Trieste are facing an adverse political context, continuously having to fight to preserve the current healthcare institutions. In such a context, receiving support from other FA Members and having the time to reflect on their own work and situation have been refreshing for both. External acknowledgment nourishes possible collaborations and maintains the door open for future exchanges.