FIGHT OR FLIGHT

Production: Hana Bašić
Black and white digital photographs
2021

Special thanks to Rupert Stoeger

Photographs are taken in the hospital for addiction treatment in April 2021. Small balcony with metal bars was the smoking area where around 25 patients from all around the world were socializing throughout the day. Smoking one cigarette after another we were trying to catch some sun while telling each other life stories that brought us all there.

With this work I want to open discussion on societal understanding of addictions. The behavioral health field has struggled for decades to debunk the myths and misconceptions about the nature of drug and alcohol addiction. People with a substance use disorder were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower rather than seen as suffering from a disease. Labels and terms such as addict and alcoholic — even substance abuse and drug abuse—persist today and further stigmatize the disease and individuals who have the condition. This language and these views shape society’s responses to substance use disorder, treating the condition as a moral failing rather than a complex behavioral health issue, which leads to an emphasis on punishment rather than disease prevention and treatment.

The society of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its health and education systems almost do not deal with this topic. Furthermore, PTST, poverty, and various consequences of the war, are also reasons for a large number of addicts of all generations. Alcohol and drug addicts, as well as gambling and the like, are stigmatized and marginalized in our society, which prevents them from seeking medical and/or any other help.

*The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. These responses are evolutionary adaptations to increase chances of survival in threatening situations.

Fight or Flight, solo exhibition, gallery Zvono, Sarajevo, 2021-2022


Fotografije su snimljene u bolnici za liječenje bolesti ovisnosti u aprilu 2021. Mali balkon sa metalnim rešetkama bio je prostor za pušenje gdje se tokom dana družilo oko 25 pacijenata iz cijelog svijeta. Pušeći jednu cigaretu za drugom, pokušavali smo uhvatiti malo sunca dok smo pričali životne priče koje su sve dovele tamo.

Ovim radom želim otvoriti diskusiju o društvenom razumijevanju ovisnosti. Bihevioralna nauka se decenijama bori da razotkrije mitove i zablude o prirodi ovisnosti o drogama i alkoholu. Smatralo se da su ljudi s poremećajem upotrebe supstanci nemoralni i da im nedostaje snaga volje. Oznake i termini kao što su ovisnik i alkoholičar – čak i zloupotreba supstanci i zloupotreba droga – opstaju i danas i dodatno stigmatiziraju bolest i one koji se s njom bore. Ovakav jezik i pogledi oblikuju odgovore društva na poremećaj upotrebe supstanci, tretirajući to stanje kao moralni nedostatak, a ne kao kompleksno zdravstveno pitanje, što dovodi do naglaska na kažnjavanju, a ne na prevenciji i lječenju bolesti. Bosanskohercegovačko društvo, zdravstveni i obrazovni sistem se ovom temom skoro i ne bave, a PTST, siromaštvo i razne posljedice rata, pored ostalih, razlozi su za veliki broj ovisnika svih generacija. Ovisnici o alkoholu i drogama, kao i kocki i drugom, u našem društvu su stigmatizirani i marginalizirani, što ih sprječava da zatraže zdravstvenu i/ili bilo kakvu drugu pomoć.



*Reakcija borbe ili bijega je automatska fiziološka reakcija na događaj koji se doživljava kao stresan ili zastrašujući. Percepcija prijetnje aktivira simpatički nervni sistem i pokreće akutni odgovor na stres koji priprema tijelo za borbu ili bijeg. Ovi odgovori su evolucijske prilagodbe za povećanje šansi za preživljavanje u prijetećim situacijama.

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