No plans yet for Friday evening? Why not join the party at Looking for Endosymbiotic Love, a live show launching a science-art project, cooked up by NTD Network PhD student and parasitologist Yasmine Kumordzi (Durham University), and performer RJ Lloyd. In this highly creative approach to science outreach, these two friends ‘personify’ a range of complex and neglected infectious diseases as lonely hearts, on the lookout for romance… The project has resulted in a 2021 wall calendar and launch event, to be live-streamed this Friday, 4th December, 7-8pm UK time (free tickets here.) Or if you don’t want to wait, click here for a blast of Yasmine herself, introducing leishmaniasis – her ‘endo’ of choice (i.e. her specialist research area!!). What’s not to love? 🙂
The Endosymbiotic Love calendar project, supported by funding from a “Microbiology in Society Award 2020” (Arts Council England), introduces a fresh and fun perspective on twelve diseases which we may not be so very keen to get intimate with but could encounter anyway. The project has been incubating as an idea for some time, and ‘came out’ during the unexpected spare time for Yasmine caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. The work evolved from an unexpected meeting between Yasmine and Hwa Young and has involved the team discussing infectious diseases in great depth, along with dressing up in weird stuff, experimenting with stage makeup (and having a lot of fun!) somewhere in that unexplored area between life-threatening infections, feminism, gender-flexibility and cross-dressing… (and why not?)
Friday’s chat show, hosted by Yasmine and RJ, will feature microbial sketches, interviews, and a live Q&A. This event will be live-streamed over YouTube – DO join them for the show, plus a COMPETITION where you can bag yourself a free Calendar! So, grab your free tickets here to participate in this evening of wild entertainment!
Of course, I have to say that the leishmania lonely heart is the best pick of the bunch – since it’s one of ‘our’ NTDS!! Here (s)he is: December’s pin-up!! But you can also get more intimate with Giardia, cowpox, Shigella, Strombidium, and a range of other eligible microbes.
In Yasmine’s own words:
“We’re excited to be sharing with you some news about Looking for Endosymbiotic Love, a project taking the form of a 2021 wall calendar and live-streamed event, bringing performance artists & microbiologists working together through drag to embody a microorganism for every month of 2021. This art & science collaboration delves into the (renewed public awareness of the) microbial world and the fragile interdependence of our coexistence on this planet. Without exploiting the COVID-19 situation, but sensitively and safely working in its context, we intend to bring these worlds together; pairing the vital importance of microbiological research with feminist and queer perspectives to help share biological knowledge in an innovative and meaningful way.”
We hope you can join us on 4th December, 7-8 pm GMT, for a free YouTube Live Stream event hosted by parasitologist Yasmine Kumordzi and performer RJ Lloyd with microbial sketches, interviews, and Q&A.
50% of the price you pay for the calendar will be donated to The Outside Project, the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Shelter and Community Centre.
Hoping to see you at the event,
Yasmine, Hwa Young and everybody at Looking for Endosymbiotic Love.