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The Art of Global Health Project: Six Artist Residencies, Six Countries
The Art in Global Health Project is a new initiative launched by the Wellcome Collection to engage the public in Wellcome Trust-funded health research. The project is designed to host six artists for up to one year at six Wellcome Trust-funded research centres in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK.(Read more about the Art of Global Health Project here and on the Project website here.)
In Kenya, Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James Muriuki are the two artists who were selected to be part of this exciting new project and will spend a year in residence at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi. To kick start the project, Miriam and James made an exploratory visit to Kilifi during the first week of May, to get a better understanding of the Programme and its scope of work.
Speaking about their visit to the research center, Miriam said “We had a very welcoming first visit! I was excited by the visit to the Microbiology Lab with community leaders during the Open Day event and grateful to have gotten a chance to sit in on several meetings. We met lots of people in such a short time and look forward to the working with the Programme during our residency”.
Describing his first visit at the Kilifi research center, James observed” scientists basically question issues - they don’t trust that anything you say will be the truth …if anybody tells you something, doubt it, ask what are the mistakes, ask what are your facts, what experiments did you do, question it for yourself and develop the habit of questioning things...”
During their year of residency, Miriam and James will fully familiarize themselves with the research being undertaken at the Programme, interact with scientists and team members from across disciplines (including anthropologists, ethicists, economists, educators) and then produce an artistic work in response to the processes of research and discovery they have observed. The artistic work may be anything from audio-recordings, photographs, drawings or paintings to films, narrative fiction or drama. As important as the final artistic "product" will be, documentation of the artists’ own journey as they discover more about the creation of scientific knowledge will be equally important.
At the end of the project, the artists will present their work at a national exhibition as well as an exhibition at Wellcome Collection, London.