Free or low cost Community Events and college courses are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day format. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.
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ELIZA SQUIBB AND “STORY CLOTH” IN MALI
March 1, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
Camden native Eliza Squibb will present a talk on the novel efforts of the GAIA Vaccine Foundation to use clothing and cloth designs to tell stories about health in the West African nation of Mali. The talk will be at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday evening, March 1, at 7:00 pm.
GAIA Vaccine Foundation is a small non-profit headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. GAIA’s mission is to fight infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the underserved in Africa, and to promote the development of globally relevant, globally accessible vaccines that can be distributed on a not-for-profit basis in the developing world. GAIA’s activities are centered on four themes: Education, Prevention, Access to care, and Vaccination. Through active, ongoing collaboration with West African physicians and scientists, support for prevention-related clinical activities, educational programs, GAIA strives to bring accessible health care to community-run clinics.
Eliza Squibb, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, has extensive experience both in Africa and with textile design. Specializing in collaborative environments, Eliza has worked as an artist in residence at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI. Her research on traditional art has taken her to Tunisia and the Peruvian Amazon where she taught sewing lessons in Yine-Yami and Shipibo indigenous communities.
Along with GAIA’s founder, immunologist Dr. Annie De Groot, Eliza developed textile designs that are influenced both by scientific imagery and the long history of West African “wax print” cloth. GAIA’s cloth patterns are attractive and educational “story-telling cloths” in bright colors and repeated designs, printed in Mali and distributed among healthcare personnel at community-run clinics. The HPV textile design shows the Human Papillomavirus embedded in cancerous cells. Healthy uterus and cervix are surrounded by healthy cells. The pattern includes slogans in French that read, “I care for myself, I protect myself, I get vaccinated,” and “I get tested early to prevent cervical cancer,” A proverb in Bambara reads “It is better to prevent than cure.” During the first 6 months of GAIA’s cervical cancer screening campaign using the cloth, over 3,000 Malian women were screened.
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