Embodied Memories – Another Perspective on Research in Africa

Photographic exhibition by Ashley Ouvrier

29 January – 27 March 2015, situated on floors 2 & 3 of the ARB

This exhibition gathers a series of portraits, family stories and social facts collected in 2012 alongside an anthropological study on traces and memories of science in Niakhar. Its intention is to foreground personal points of view of those who work at the ground level of an international health and demographic research site in Africa. It is also a way to visually query the meaning of African bodies and agency in the context of global health and post-independence relations.

Ashley Ouvrier is a social anthropologist and post-doctoral fellow at the CERMES3 (Paris) and at the Centre Norbert Elias (Marseille). Her research interests focus on the social uses of pharmaceuticals and medical research in West Africa and in France. Alongside her work, Ashley has explored ways of using the emotional and subjective part of her research experience in order to create new and more participative spaces of discussion. To cope with the complex and rather controversial topic of medical research in post-colonial Africa, she created a play on the personal experience of taking part in a clinical trial in 2009 (with the Senegalese theater company Kaddu Yaraax) and a traveling photographic exhibition on the Embodied memories of science in rural Senegal in 2013 . These two initiatives have both been well appreciated by heteroclite audiences and appear as insightful ways to stimulate discussion and debate.

A reception and academic colloquium entitled ‘Virulence: Visualising the African Body as a Vector of Epidemics’ will take place on 19 February 2015. For further details click here.