The Cures

Jasmina Tesanovic | Huffington Post | October 4, 2012

...Salvatore Iaconesi is my friend and sometime collaborator, a Roman hacker engineer and artist. Recently he went out public with the private crisis of his brain cancer. He hacked the illegible format of the hospital documents and put the scans online. He then invited the online community to help him in finding a cure (La Cura). I applauded his bravery.

Salvatore wanted to be proactive rather than seen as passive and pitied, as the ill so often are seen in a society that dreads mortality and seems to fear a mortal contagion from cancer. Italy's very long-lived population has many opportunities for slow-building maladies like cancer. Salvatore wanted to handle his own  body, his self, politically, medically and privately. Hundreds of volunteer opinions poured onto his website, from mainstream prominent doctors to alternative, even forbidden treatments.

Thirty years ago the famous Italian anti-psychiatrist Basaglia made a similar attempt to change the stigma of the traditional approach to the illness in Italy. Even a law, still in force, was passed with Basaglia's name.  In Basaglia's day (stricken by brian cancer himself), there was no Internet, no easy brain scans, no hackers activists, and brain cancer was even more fatal than it is today. Here now is Salvatore, 30 years later, seeking a happier end...