Currently, the public discourse around mental health is severely underdeveloped. For example, conversations around mental health tend to focus only on the personal responsibility of the individual. By contrast, Extinction Rebellion’s call for collective action goes beyond urging individuals to recycle and use less plastic. Likewise, the public discourse on mental health should go beyond urging individuals to think positively, take yoga classes, eat healthily, exercise more, and so forth. Mental health illnesses do not appear in a vacuum. No mental illness was caused by a lack of yoga. The narrative of the public mental health has to become systemic.
Inhabitants of Písnice, a neighbourhood built on the outskirts of Prague in the mid-1980s, lost more than just a political fight. They lost their homes, friends, and communities. However, there are several lessons to be learned from this, regarding both the socialist past and the post-socialist capitalist present.
Hatred towards AirBnB is not unique for Prague. In many cities around the world, people and municipalities are trying to impose control measures on short-term rentals. However, AirBnB is not only about short-term rentals anymore. It is an obvious proof of how the capitalist economic logic functions in the city: housing is for sale, not for fulfilling human needs. Those who can afford it, can live; those who cannot, must leave to the outskirts.