Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shadowpox in Geneva

This week I've had the huge pleasure of working alongside Caitlin Fisher, Steven Hoffman and Susan Rogers Van Katwyk in person, and LaLaine Ulit-Destajo and Sean Sollé in cyber, to install Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic at UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland, in time for the WHO's 70th World Health Assembly.

<Immune Nations>, an evidence-based art exhibition about the constructive role that art can play in global political discourse around life-saving vaccines, opened yesterday and will run till the end of June 2017.

Steven J. Hoffman, Alison Humphrey and Caitlin Fisher in front of the tent for Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic
Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia and UNAIDS Special Advocate,
playing Shadowpox at the <Immune Nations> opening
The Lancet reviewed the exhibition, calling Shadowpox "undoubtedly one of the most powerful and playful ways to illustrate both the individual and population-level implications of community immunity." 

La Repubblica quoted Hoffman describing the paradox that the exhibition highlights: "On the one hand, millions of the world's poorest people do not have access to vaccines, while on the other, millions of wealthy people refuse to vaccinate themselves or their children because of unfounded safety fears."

The Vaccine Project, the three-year interdisciplinary collaboration that led up to this exhibition, was completed as part of the International Collaboration for Capitalizing on Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Commodities (i4C) that is funded through the Research Council of Norway's Global Health & Vaccination Programme.

 The whole team in the UNAIDS courtyard before the opening of <Immune Nations>
Click for a time-lapse video of the Shadowpox setup, for photos of the game's players in action, or read the rest of this post for more photos from the opening.... 

Annemarie Hou (Chief of Staff and Director of the UNAIDS Executive Office) and Patrick Mahon (artist; Professor, Visual Arts Studio; and Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities, University of Western Ontario) present Design for a Dissemunization Station to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, and Monica Geignos
Alison Humphrey presents Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic
Michel Sidibé, Monica Geignos, and Shadowpox statistical analyst Susan Rogers Van Katwyk
The Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health for Canada
Annemarie Hou welcomes the assembly to the opening of <Immune Nations>
Steven J. Hoffman (Director, Global Strategy Lab; Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science, York University; Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health)

Patrick Mahon and Annemarie Hou
Conversations with Vaccine-Critical Parents / Syringe Sequence #1-2 – Johan Holst (Norwegian Institute of Public Health; Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and Kaisu Koski (artist and academy research fellow, University of Tampere)

Upstream the Cold Chain – Jesper Alvær (Norwegian artist based in Oslo and Prague), Sinaré/Kàboré Thérèse (Ministry of Health, Burkina Faso), Johan Holst 
Memories and Records: The Vaccine Archive – Vicki S. Kwon, PhD candidate in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta; Project Manager, <Immune Nations> 
Steven J. Hoffman, Natalie S. Loveless and Sean Caulfield, co-leads of The Vaccine Project 
VacZineNations! – Rachelle Viader Knowles (Associate Head of School, International, for Art and Design at Coventry University) and Mkrtich Tonoyan (founder of Art Centre of Social Studies, Armenia)
Anatomy Table – artist Sean Caulfield (Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta)

<Immune Nations> curator Natalie Loveless