What is a plague and how is it perceived in the eyes of different people and cultures? Coming from the Visual Communications department at Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem, Imry Gefen investigates in his exchange semester at UdK Berlin how different cultures perceived Smallpox throughout history, and their methods of dealing with the disease that has infected humans for thousands of years.
The project "The Smallpoxed Perspective" aims to express the influence of Smallpox - a disease that affected humanity globally but also the first disease to have been completely eradicated through global efforts and vaccinations. The project consists of five illustrated posters that detail the effect that Smallpox had on several cultures in Egypt, China, India, Nigeria and the Americas.
The history of Smallpox is intertwined with the history of humanity and it's methods of perceiving and dealing with diseases - from godlike manifestations of the disease to ancient ways of Variolation and Inoculation, and how globalization and colonialism helped spread the disease. The project aims to create a global perspective that still manages to represent the diverse cultural entities consisting it, and maybe shed a light on how we manage today, as a global society, newfound diseases and plagues.
Imry sought to find a coherent graphic language that can assemble the different representations of Smallpox and took inspiration from methods as such as Storytelling and Advertisements to try and create an informative, graphic experience.