Atmosphere and Ambiance: Spaces of Recovery from Mental Illness (14749)
Recovery from mental illness may be construed as a process of learning to manipulate the affects, signs, spaces and events of one’s ‘becoming well’. The always unfinished event of recovery links human and nonhuman spaces, bodies, signs and events in the joint expression of an enhanced capacity to affect (and be affected by) other bodies and spaces. This paper investigates events of recovery with reference to recent geographical analysis of affective atmospheres and ambiance. We draw from each body of work to elaborate the relationship between place and recovery. In so doing, we will begin to map the social, material and affective dimensions of therapeutic, or ‘enabling’, places. We ground our discussion in qualitative research recently conducted in Melbourne. Duff will present select results from his recent work on atmospheres of recovery, detailing some of the ways the distinction between atmosphere and ambiance may serve to further clarify the relationship between health and place. Boyd will present findings from interviews she conducted with a group of young people recovering from mental illness and offer some insights on the dynamic interplay of human and non-human forces in the production of therapeutic spaces.