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  4. Spending time in an institution in Iceland in the 1970s

Spending time in an institution in Iceland in the 1970s

Eygló Ebba Hreinsdóttir and Gudrun Stefansdottir

A black and white photo of Ebba at the institution

Ebba moved to an institution in the late 70s when she was 19 years old. Gudrun started to work at the same institution a few years later. After Ebba moved from the institution they didn't have contact for many years but since 2003 they have worked closely together on a life-history research project.

In the lecture Ebba and Gudrun will describe their cooperation and how they "talked through" different experiences from the institution. They will also talk about spending time in an institution in Iceland, Gudrun as a staff member and Ebba as one who lived there.

Even though Ebba has mixed feelings for the institution she also remembers having good days and doing some interesting things. She will talk about some of the good things but also about some of the bad experiences. The Independence Day was, for instance, always fun and, every year at the institution, before Christmas Ebba participated in a play about stories from the Bible.

A colour photo of Gudrun at the Institution

Ebba will also talk about the powerful regime oft the institution where others controlled her life, set the rules and made the decisions. Ebba felt often unsecure and landed in circumstances she could not control. Worse, however, was the experience of being labelled as "mentally retarded". She will talk about how she resisted and refused to belong to the life of the institution and the stigmatization that came with it.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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