Narratives of life paths targeted for intervention

The life path of a well-known Lausanne eccentric reveals a political and cultural history of controversies in the psychiatric community.

On 10 January 1986, Lausanne police officers escorted a young man to the psychiatric clinic in Cery, where he was placed under compulsory detention. A team of researchers from the School of Health Sciences in Vaud (HESAV) has produced a book detailing the life of Martial Richoz, who used to push his self-built bus through the streets of Lausanne in the early 1980s. His detention provoked emotions, debates and demonstrations, which in turn prompted a huge media response. Were his trips through the city just too unsettling? Was the young man, who Lausanne residents still remember to this day, the embodiment of a life path that could not be so readily tolerated?

Besides Ludovic Maugué and Sandrine Maulini, the team of authors includes sociologist and HESAV Associate Professor Cristina Ferreira, who is heading a project under NRP 76 on the knowledge and power of forensic psychiatry.

“L'Homme-bus, une histoire des controverses psychiatriques (1960 - 1980)”, published by Georg Editeur.

The book is also available as an open access download: