This story is about mental illness and the beginnings of what we now call "care in the community." In February 1978 Meadows, on assignment for a weekend magazine, spent two weeks living in a psychiatric hospital, in a ward for long-term schizophrenics. It was a time when psychiatrists were influenced by the behaviour modification theories of B.F. Skinner and the "politics of experience" as articulated by R.D. Laing.
Daniel Meadows (b. 1952) is a documentarist: one who, in an attempt to make sense of the times in which we live, engages with others to gather, create and present – with as few fictional additions as possible – stories made out of photographs and/or oral testimony.
Since the 1970s Meadows has earned his living as an independent photographer and by teaching in higher education, mostly in Wales, first with Magnum photographer David Hurn on the Newport Documentary Photography course and later at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural studies. From 2001-06 he was creative director of the BAFTA (Cymru) winning Capture Wales, the BBC's digital storytelling project, which was also the subject of his PhD. He retired from academic life in 2012.
Meadows' work has been exhibited widely. His recent retrospective at the National Media Museum Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works was seen by 40,000 people. His books include: Living Like This – Around Britain in the Seventies, Arrow Books, 1975. Nattering In Paradise – A Word from the Suburbs, Simon & Schuster, 1988. Set Pieces – Being About Film Stills Mostly, BFI Publications, 1993. National Portraits – Photographs from the 1970s by Daniel Meadows, edited by Val Williams, Salford: Viewpoint Photography Gallery, and Derby: Montage Gallery, 1997. The Bus – The Free Photographic Omnibus 1973-2001, The Harvill Press, 2001. Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s by Val Williams, Photoworks, 2011.
Photobus, adventures of a documentarist by Daniel Meadows at: photobus.co.uk/
The Smoking Room is a featured multimedia piece on DEVELOP Tube. DEVELOP Tube is an educational resource which features multimedia, interviews, lectures & films about photojournalism, documentary & fine art photography. vimeo.com/channels/developphoto
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