Washington, D.C., 24 April 2012 — The photography exhibit "Art for Research", which visually depicts how health research has shaped the future and improved lives of Latin Americans and people around the world, opened in Cape Town, South Africa today April 24 in conjunction with the beginning of the Global Forum 2012.
The exhibit is a collection of images that celebrate the characters and stories behind key innovations in health and development such as HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer 's disease, prenatal care and the eradication of infectious diseases. At the exhibit's opening in Barcelona, PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses, said "Research for health is an excellent investment; today we turn to art to illustrate the stories about the extraordinary benefits and developments that were made possible through health research."
Art for Research consists of two shows. The first, "Shaping the World", is a collection of portraits by the renowned British artist, Theo Chalmers. Each portrait presents a key protagonist in public health history and frames each individual in elements that represent the advances to which he/she contributed or the issues he/she addressed through his/her work. Among the 9 portraits is a representation of Dr. Ciro de Quadros and his research about infectious diseases such as polio; and another of Paulina Taborada, bioethics researcher who used research to understand moral questions surrounding palliative care.
The second show, "Research in Movement", is a collection of images by Australian photographer Jane Dempster, who travelled through Latin America documenting stories of transformational health research.
The exposition illustrates five health research success stories that reflect the positive impact that health research can have on the health of a population. One of the stories she documented is the investigation on the incidence of malaria and this work resulted in the construction of the Panama Canal.
The exhibit is a collaboration between the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization's Innovation, Information, Evidence, and Research group, and the Council on Health Research for Development with generous financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation in Development [Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo].