Accidental intimacy: Transformative emotion and the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre
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This article widens the debate surrounding supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) by exploring an aspect of SIFs yet to be examined in the scholarly literature: the relationships created between staff and clients within these settings. By analyzing entries made in the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre’s (MSIC) client comment books we explore the centrality of emotional connection to clients’ experiences of the service. We argue that the everyday contact between staff and clients—including the “accidental intimacy” that develops when clients inject in the presence of staff —counters the sensations of shame identified by many in the comment books, creating new relations, and new performative possibilities for the production of self, belonging and citizenship for clients of the service. In exploring the role of emotions in the operation of the MSIC we also aim to highlight the political, policy, and clinical value of qualitative forms of inquiry for the harm reduction field.
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