Staying Alive, documenting the Uganda Cancer Institute
Staying Alive considers photographs that were a tool in medical practices and research, and the documentation of the history of the Uganda Cancer Institute. It gives an insight into the past of the institute and asks questions concerning the ethics around medical photographs and depictions of patients. Medical historian Marissa Mika, who wrote her dissertation about the Uganda Cancer Institute contributed texts from her fieldnotes and Andrea Stultiens reflects on her own position, as a former cancer patient, in relation to the patients she photographed in 2012. John Nyende and Coleb Butungi, both medical illustrators, translated historical medical photographs into drawings, guaranteeing the privacy of the patients but still forcing us to think about their presence. In a place where death is often around the corner, photographs freeze time, but keep pasts and the people living in them alive at the same time.
Andrea Stultiens is not completely at ease with calling herself a photographer, or an artist. Instead she describes herself as someone doing things with photographs. She makes them, collects them, looks at them, thinks and writes about them. Sometimes she makes the results of this visible for the rest of the world online, in books or in exhibitions. All of this is aimed at telling relevant stories about the way we relate to others and how we deal with what we consider to be our own culture.
Next to the mostly self-initiated projects Stultiens also teaches at the BFA program of Academy Minerva in Groningen, where she is also the head of the research group PRICCAPractice that investigates the use of photographs in artistic practices. The Ebifananyi book series and the exhibitions connected to it is the artistic output of her practice based research at PhDArts / Leiden University.
Photography:Andrea StultiensDesign:Andrea Stultiens, Marloes de LaatOther people:Canon Griffin
Printing:Drukkerij TienkampEdition:1stPublisher(s):Paradox, HIPUganda