The HealersLSHTM logologo: Africa 05 in collaboration with BBC
Loulou Cherinet
Cyprien Tokoudagba
Zwelethu Mthethwa
Tracey Rose
Abdoulaye Konate
LSHTM homepage
image of Tokoudagba's work
Rebirth - Healing - Tradition - Ritual - Death

Season of events celebrating contemporary African Art at LSHTM

Open to the public Monday - Friday 12.00 - 19.00; Saturday 10.00 - 12.00 until April 10th.
Closed Friday 25th March - 31st March

Festival: April 9th and 10th (Please book in advance:

Extra Events: Please check this website for updates
7th April - slide show and discussion with artist in residence Abdoulaye Konate (time/venue to be confirmed)

Press inquiries to the Press Officer Raymond Hainey: 020 7927 2802
Other inquiries to the Season Organiser:

Download the press release and the Exhibition Guide
Download the full Festival Guide


As the world's attention focuses on Africa in 2005 in an international effort to accelerate progress for the continent, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is joining in the initiative by celebrating its rich and diverse cultural heritage through a series of art events. Providing an unusual venue within the Africa 2005 season ( , the renowned research-led postgraduate medical school specialising in international public health and tropical medicine is hosting a season of arts events. The Healers Season reflects on and respond to the scientific and sociological work of the School to forge new perspectives on healing and medicine in Africa.

Exhibition & Artists in Residence

Originally conceived by LSHTM staff, The Healers season begins with an exhibition that evolved in dialogue with Nana Oforiata Ayim, who selected the artists for the show. The exhibition is a prestigious one for the School since it includes two world premiers (works by Mthethwa and Rose) and profiles six contemporary African artists whose acknowledged reputations have led them to be shown around the world at major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennials. The Healers includes video work, paintings and photography that provide other facets of the work of the artists who all appear in the acclaimed Africa Remix exhibition at the Hayward Gallery.

We take visitors on a journey beginning with death and rebirth (Loulou Cherinet); then on to look at a traditional use of art for healing (Gera), representations of an African cosmology that encompasses life, wellbeing and healing (Cyprien Tokoudagba); depictions of those who administer indigenous healing and their - often contested - place in urban society (Zwelethu Mthethwa); on to the transcending nature of ritual and trance (Tracey Rose), coming back full cycle to death and legacy (Abdoulaye Konate).

Two artists-in-residence, Tracey Rose and Abdoulaye Konate, will explore the work of the school through interaction with the School's staff and students to explore issues of health and healing. Rose completed a new video work exploring religion and spiritual wellbeing which was premiered at the Exhibition Opening Night. Konate's residency work will be unveiled at the Festival.


The Healers Season culminates in a two-day festival organized by cultural consultants Dudu Sarr and Sarah Castle. The festival will bring together academics and artists in a reciprocal exchange and mutual learning. The presentations will challenge conventional public health specialists' approaches to art and also artists' perspectives on science. Academics will comment on culture as a means to facilitating and impeding improvements to health in Africa. Artistic presentations (including film, live music from the Gnawa and Ndepp traditions of Africa, and other creative performance) will explore cultural expressions of the body and images of disease together with physical and spiritual well-being. Exchange and dialogue between artists, musicians, craftsmen and researchers will catalyse new and dynamic perspectives and potentials for collaboration between the medical profession and artists both in Africa and within the diaspora.

The School has developed an exhibitions and commissions programme over the last 5 years, seeking to create opportunities for artists to respond to and engage with specific aspects of research currently taking place at the School. These included many new works tailor-made to the unusual curatorial spaces in the School's art deco building. Past exhibitions have included "Smog", "Hygiene" and "Foreign Bodies" organised in collaboration with Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Site specific commissions at the school are works by Susan Brind, Martina Kramer, Richard Layzell, Julian Walker, Gary Perkins and Grenville Davey.


The Healers Season Organiser: Susannah Mayhew
Selection of Artists: Nana Oforiata Ayim
LSHTM Arts Coordinator: Tony Fletcher
Exhibition designer/installer: Tim Robinson & Christian Newton
Support Staff: Carolyn Hartley, Claire O'Connor, Michael Smith, Penny Ireland; Finance Office; Research Grants Office; Audio-Visual Department
Web & Materials Design: Mare Tralla
Publicity: Tony Johns and Raymond Hainey
Exhibition Guide: Mare Tralla and Susannah Mayhew


The Wellcome Trust provided funding for the exhibition and the festival
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation provided funding for the two artists in residence

For further information on the Festival contact Dudu Sarr and Sarah Castle at:

For further information on the Africa 2005 Season visit the BBC website:

For information on forthcoming events see the LSHTM website:

Image above is Cyprien Tokoudagba's painting

© LSHTM, October Gallery, Revue Noir and the artists