A General Practice

Everyone knows how it works in the big waiting room just off the street. There’s no reception desk in Dr AlAsadi’s surgery, so you just find a spot, and make sure you’ve noted who is there already. People come from all over, though the surgery has nothing obvious to recommend it.  

In this cahier, Anna-Louise Milne charts the silent cues and halting accounts that constitute the everyday choreography of care in a world where the rules are anyone’s guess and everyone’s business. The text is rhythmed by paintings by artist Andy Robert in which figures emerge vividly from his experimental and abstract use of colour and line, inscrutable and requiring. Inspired by his surroundings and community in Brooklyn, his travels, as well as his family’s involvement in healthcare and mass transit, Robert’s work shares Milne’s interest in our cities’ hidden places that harbour the labour that sustains the bodies of those who are often deemed expendable, even unspeakable.  

A General Practice is no.37 in the Cahiers Series published by AUP’s Center for Writers & Translators in association with Sylph Editions (London). The ambition of the Cahiers Series is to make available new explorations in writing, in translating, and in the areas linking these two activities. 

Andy Robert, Street Poet (smoking), 2017 (detail)