Neues Programmheft APR-JUL 2020 PDF:
"Worlds of Health: Barefoot Doctors in the PRC and Practices of Worldmaking"
The term “barefoot doctor” (chijiao yisheng 赤脚医生) gained currency in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution, after Mao Zedong’s Directive had insisted that medical work needed to focus on the countryside. This involved great change for the health sector of the PRC. Instead of focusing on fully trained doctors in urban areas, doctors were increasingly “sent down” to the countryside to train individuals in basic hygiene and primary medical care, offering classes for part-time health workers, so-called “barefoot doctors”. By the early 1970s, barefoot doctors added up to over one million and the basic health care coverage in rural areas increased drastically. The image of the barefoot doctor became key in visualizing the revolution of health care in the PRC.
This talk approaches barefoot doctors by looking at various “worlds of health” that were key in the making of the barefoot doctor as a concept. These worlds of health include institutional networks that reach from global international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to networks within Communes or villages with health workers orbiting around a single medical station. They include conflicting, competing, and fusing systems of medical knowledge, often compartmentalized into “Western” and “Chinese” medicine, or into “natural”, “supernatural”, or “scientific” healing powers. The barefoot doctors became an established concept, creating its own world of knowledge, institutional network, and system of signs, symbols and images. I therefore aim to present these practices of worldmaking from the perspective of both external and internal actors and forces.
- Mo, 15 Juni 18.00 - 20.00