Photography | PODO: A Portrait Series by Matthew Joseph | at gallery@oxo | London | Art Week

PODO: A Portrait Series by Matthew Joseph

Share this

Categories:

City:

Date: 
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 to Sunday, 5 May 2019
Opening: 
Thursday, 25 April 2019 - 6:00pm

Keywords:

A compelling new exhibition in London by photographer Matthew Joseph, in conjunction with Action on Podo, sheds light on an easily preventable and treatable, yet largely overlooked disease that is devastating Ethiopia.

In a two-week exhibition at Gallery@Oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, an ambitious photographic project will present an intimate and honest portrayal of Podoconiosis (Podo), an unreported horror faced by over 1.6 million Ethiopians.

Award-winning photographer Joseph will present a series of intimate portraits of Ethiopians who have been affected by Podo to varying degrees. In each portrait, individual personalities and struggles transpire to construct a much wider narrative. Joseph’s hope is for the work to raise awareness of the silent tragedy of Podo, barely known or understood outside the African continent, whilst communicating the simple solutions needed to eradicate this disease in our lifetime.

Podo results from prolonged exposure of bare feet to specific types of fertile volcanic soil, such as that found in the highlands of Ethiopia, several other African countries, India and Central America. If left untreated, elephantiasis ensues, where the lower legs and feet swell grotesquely, causing profound disability and disfigurement. Remarkably, the disease is both entirely preventable and easily treatable through the use of appropriate footwear and a simple daily hygiene routine consisting of common household items, namely soap, water and petroleum jelly.

Joseph travelled to Ethiopia to document Podo, joining Dr Paul Matts (who co-founded the NGO Action on Podo in 2012). The photographs are the record of Joseph’s journey and showcase the importance of education and the simple solutions that can effectively cure the disease, in Ethiopia and beyond.

Stigmatised because of their appearance, those with Podo are often ostracised from their families and communities. For this reason, Joseph’s facial portraits are shown side-by-side with photographs of their affected legs and feet. This juxtaposition of images is unsettling – one would never associate the often beautiful, human faces of those with Podo with their ravaged legs and feet. At the same time, the imagery restores human dignity to those caught in the cycle of Podo disease – something at the centre of Joseph’s motivation.

The exhibition sheds light on the significant impact the NGO is making, working directly with Health Centres (to treat over 3,000 patients since 2012) and empowering local communities through preventive education and establishing shoe workshops (to make over 4500 oversize shoes for Podo patients). People are daily returned to family, community and workforce.

Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

204 Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH

Add new comment

Other shows from Damson Communications

view
Big Boys Don't Cry
03/27/2020 to 04/18/2020
view
Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement’
06/06/2020 to 11/01/2020
view
Cosmati Floor and Wax Fruit
03/19/2020 to 04/18/2020
view
Picasso Ceramics
03/18/2020 to 04/30/2020

Pages

_____________________________________________

Related Shows This Week in UK

view
William S. Burroughs as seen at Frieze 2020
06/24/2020 to 07/11/2020
view
Best Effort Network by Olia Lialina
07/04/2020 to 07/19/2020
view
Chris Rivers | The Mortal in the Material
07/09/2020 to 08/09/2020
view
Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement’
06/06/2020 to 11/01/2020
view
Touch Base
06/22/2020 to 07/25/2020
view
The Golden Age of Spanish Modern Art
07/03/2020 to 09/25/2020
view
[SHIFT:ibpcpa] Biennale 2020
06/30/2020 to 08/30/2020
view
Made With...
07/04/2020 to 08/01/2020

Pages