Wellcome Medal Lecture
Figuring the Tumor : Photography, Self, and Advanced Cancer in Botswana
will be given by
Dr Julie Livingston, Rutgers University
Wednesday 11 June 2014, at 5.30pm (talk to start at 6.00pm) at the Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE
This talk considers a series of photographs and other visual images present in the oncology ward of the central referral hospital in Botswana where a cancer epidemic is rapidly emerging. The images depict the bodies of patients with very egregious and disturbing tumors. They are difficult to look at, and I do not intend to display them. Instead, based on ethnographic research in the ward, the paper considers the productive work that these photographs perform, not for the viewer, but for the photographic subject. Querying the relationship between objectivity, subjectivity, and surface in bodily experience, the discussion explores how such images might assist patients phenomenologically and ethically in separating tumor from self, and in validating and socializing the obscenity of advanced cancer.
The event is free, but places must be booked in advance by noon on 10 June 2014. Please book here