Blacks’ representation in public health campaigns focus of exhibit


The University of Illinois at Chicago African American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the UIC School of Public Health’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will present “A Choreography of Contagion: Absence and Presence of Black Bodies in Public Health Campaigns,” an exhibit exploring how people of African descent have been represented in public health campaigns.


Opening reception: Nov. 3, 4 – 6 p.m.
Reading & Discussion: “Our Love on Fire: Gay Men’s Stories of Violence and Hope in Haiti,” Nov. 4, Noon -1:30 p.m.
Exhibition on view: Through Dec. 18. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and by appointment, group and guided tours can be scheduled Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – noon.


UIC African American Cultural Center Library
Addams Hall, Room 200
830 S. Halsted St.


“A Choreography of Contagion” features a collage of early 20th century newspaper prints and images from private institutions, health journals and popular media. Connecting the past with the present, they are joined by examples of modern health campaigns involving global epidemics from cholera to Ebola and HIV/AIDS to malaria.

The installation uses visual arts and dance concepts along with epidemiological terms to highlight how metaphors, images and symbols are artfully deployed to convey complex meanings in communications about black bodies’ health.

The exhibit includes reproductions of rare photographs from the Provident Hospital archival collection housed at Chicago State University, images from the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments and examples of contemporary social media outreach.

“A Choreography of Contagion” is curated by Mario LaMothe, postdoctoral associate in interdisciplinary sexuality studies at Duke University, and designed by Sarah Sommers Design. La Mothe will headline a Nov. 4 reading and discussion titled “Our Love on Fire: Gay Men’s Stories of Violence and Hope in Haiti.”

The exhibit is commissioned by Lori Barcliff Baptista, director of the UIC African American Cultural Center and faculty member in museum and exhibition studies, with the support of Ebbin Dotson, UIC assistant dean of urban health and diversity programs and assistant professor of community health sciences.

Admission is free and open to the public. More information is available at (312) 996-9549.

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