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3rd April, 2013

Cartographies of Life & Death – John Snow and Disease Mapping

Event Details

3rd April, 2013
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
End Date:
17th April, 2013
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT

Inspired by the pioneering work of medical detective John Snow, who traced the source of a deadly cholera outbreak in 1850s London to a water pump in Soho, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is opening its doors to the public with an exhibition celebrating his work and legacy.

Historical treasures and newly commissioned artworks inspired by science will be found both in and around the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Presented in the style of a disease mapping ‘detective’ trail, exhibition highlights will include a pop-up water-based cocktail bar, weekly street performances, and disease maps from the School’s archives showing how scientists have tracked disease outbreaks around the world from the early 1900s to the present day.

John Snow (1813–1858) is considered the founder of modern epidemiology – the study of the patterns and causes of health and disease in populations. His work laid the foundations for better sanitation in the capital and still influences public health research and policy today.

Curated by Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design.

New contemporary artworks include: Amy Sharrock’s ‘Water Bar’ at the site of the John Snow memorial water pump on Broadwick Street, Soho, serving water-based drinks that ask us to rethink our relationship with water; Catherine Anyango’s ‘Tunnel Drawings’ based on her journey into London’s sewers; ‘In the Event of Snow ’ by Pam Skelton uses animation to bring together the biological, environmental and social aspects of Snow’s pioneering work; Anne Eggebert’s drawings combine Google Earth with Pro-Med mail data on where cholera outbreaks occur today; and Eggebert & Cole’s ‘Weekly Returns’ will see a series of cross-disciplinary public street lectures and performances return expert knowledge to the streets of Soho.

The exhibition will also feature the work of world-renowned culinary artists Bompas and Parr, whose work ‘Scent of London’ reveals the city’s invisible architecture and cartography of smell.

Visitors will be able to use a mobile website, which integrates contemporary aspects of mapping such as GPS and Google Maps, to travel from the main exhibition site on Keppel Street through Victorian London to the location of John Snow’s seminal Broad Street map. A printed map will also be available from the exhibition’s main location at the School’s Keppel Street site and distributed at various locations across the capital.

Historical items on display from the archives of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Wellcome Library, Museum of London and the London Metropolitan Archives include rare maps and printed ephemera relating to cholera outbreaks at the time.

The exhibition is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award and Arts Council England.

For more information please visit the Central Saint Martins website.

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