The Afterlife of Epidemics

SARS and other deadly diseases have lasting social and emotional impacts. In Hong Kong—the locus of a 2003 outbreak—cautionary behaviors like wearing face masks and traumas experienced by medical professionals persist beyond the epidemic’s span.  

Contagious Cities,” an exhibition in Hong Kong, catalogs lasting effects in a collection referencing the city’s disease history. The show is part of a Wellcome Trust project focusing on relationships between “microbes, migration and the metropolis” with sister exhibitions in New York and Geneva.

“We can never prepare ourselves enough,” says curator Ying Kwok. “The key is to talk about it and not avoid it, [but] learn from it.”

South China Morning Post

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