Hygiene – A Circle of Life opens at Fotografiska

By on November 8, 2017
Ida Borg

Hygiene – A Circle of Life
8 November 2017 – 21 January 2018, Ida Borg
The Fotografiska For Life exhibition Hygiene – A Circle of Life opens with photography of Ida Borg. The exhibition addresses the fact that regardless of where you find yourself in the circle of life, your health is dependent on hygiene – yours and that of others. In addition to its crucial role in our survival, hygiene also has a great impact on socio-economic progress. However, this essential progress is obstructed by obstacles such as taboos, traditions and ignorance.

Ever since Fotografiska initiated the series seven years ago, the Fotografiska For Life exhibitions have contributed to putting the spotlight on important issues that need to be addressed. In Sweden and internationally. Photography is an inclusive art form that elicits involvement, which is why it is so effective in reaching both mind and soul and provoking new thinking. This, in turn, leads to commitment and a desire to change things. Something happens when you encounter art – you encounter your fellow beings and you encounter yourself. Fotografiska’s vision is always to inspire a more conscious world.

“Now we wish to focus on how to best achieve sustainable hygienic conditions in terms of investments, decision-making and innovations. There is no doubt that this issue is of the outmost importance, and with this exhibition we wish to raise awareness and create debate,” explains Per Broman, CEO of Fotografiska Stockholm.

For example, 40 per cent of the world’s population lives without access to clean drinking water and food. Bacteria are passed on by hands, feet, faeces and clothes (1). 90 per cent of the 1.7 million people who die every year of diarrhoeal disease are children under the age of five (2). 73 per cent of factory workers in Bangladesh lose six days pay every month because they cannot go to work when they menstruate (3). Poor hand hygiene was the cause, in 2011, when 75,000 of 722,000 infected people, died of care-related infections in the United States (4).

Hygiene – A Circle of Life presents Ida Borg’s emotional photographs of different moments in people’s life cycles in various locations around the world. The exhibition also includes Gapminder’s exciting work, Dollar Street, with its thought-provoking message that our living situation is more related to income levels than nationality. We are dependent on hygiene conditions – regardless of which culture we come from.

To turn things around requires collaboration between public and private organisations on local, national and international levels. Much is needed if we are to achieve to the goal of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in terms of good health and quality of life, gender equality, access to clean water and sanitation, among other things.

“Hygiene and health are intimately related to our wellbeing. In our work in developing sustainable products and solutions we see that there is a need to talk about hygiene, which can be a sensitive topic. With this exhibition we hope to contribute to launching important discussions that may lead to increased understanding and progress,” says Magnus Groth, CEO of Essity.

The exhibition is part of Fotografiska’s collaboration with the global hygiene and health company Essity and is the first instalment of three during a three-year period.

Sources: 1) UNDP, 2) WHO, 3) WSSCC 4) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(WHO/HM)

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Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm