Mauvais Air

It means bad air, apparently. The name ‘malaria’ coming from the belief that the disease was spread through the air. Hence Mauvais Air as the title for this exhibition by William Daniels running at the Gallery @ Oxo until May 10.

The images are stunning. Take a look at this one for example. The haze is caused by being shot through a malaria net that the accompanying text informs us is wholly inadequate for the job. Each photo works in the same way – a richly textured visual is given context by information that makes the scene defiant, disturbing or otherwise redefined. Women sitting with their babies in a nondescript room are given meaning when we are told that they are waiting to have diagnoses of malaria in their children confirmed – and as the WHO notes, every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria.

In many ways the beauty of the photography overwhelms the shocking stories it is revealing – but this is an important exhibition and the fight against malaria can be won.

This exhibition needs to be seen.


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