Ebola Through the Lens

9 Jan 2017 2016 CONTAINER

This exhibit offers a glimpse into the lives of those who faced the recent Ebola crisis, and speaks to the extraordinary courage and resilience displayed by those who fought to contain it and save lives.

Featuring: Jonathan Bundu, Sylvain Cherkaoui, Jane Hahn, Morgana Wingard, Michael Duff, Neil Brandvold, Richard Broom, Victor Lacken, Aurelie Marrier, Pete Muller, Ricci Shryock, Tommy Trenchard

Presented by

Open Society Foundations/Open Society Initiative for West Africa

 Curated by

Jojoh Faal and Cheikh Sy (Emé Designs)



This exhibit offers a glimpse into the lives of those who faced the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa. The epidemic ravaged on for months and the sheer scale of those affected was frightening. Its spread reflected the fragility of existing health systems in afflicted countries and the need to place people and communities at the core of how we organize our societies. Against this harrowing backdrop, we are drawn to one truth: agency matters. Prevention can only be successful and sustainable when people are able to take ownership and demand accountability and efficiency. This starts with rethinking how health services are delivered, nurturing the right to health, and respecting dignity and justice.

Apart from health workers and people within the communities, photojournalists were among the few others to come face-to-face with Ebola. The exhibit showcases some of their work, providing a space to share their experiences and the stories behind the moments captured. Through their images, we can speak to the extraordinary courage and resilience displayed by those who fought to save lives and contain the epidemic. Without their determination and sense of decency, hope would have been lost.

For in the aftermath, what remains is a reassuring sense of hope.


The Ebola Through the Lens exhibition is currently installed at the OSIWA Regional Headquarters in Dakar, Senegal and the OSIWA Guinea Country Office. The images, which were selected from submission to a photo competition, come from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and were captured by more than 15 photojournalists from a number of different countries. OSIWA continues to contribute and support a number of civil society organizations that are on the frontline of dealing with the epidemic and its aftermath.

The exhibit at Photoville comprises a selection of the work by a number of the photojournalists, including the photo competition’s first place winner Jane Hahn, a freelance photographer covering the continent and beyond from her base in Dakar, Senegal; second place winner Jonathan Bundu, a Sierra Leonean writer, actor, photographer, director, film maker and human rights activist; third place winner Morgana Wingard, a videographer, photographer, and producer who has worked with humanitarian projects professionally around the globe for more than 10 years and lived in Monrovia, Liberia for two years, including during the Ebola outbreak; and finalist Sylvain Cherkaoui, a freelance photographer currently based in Dakar and working on news in West Africa.


This exhibition is supported by the Open Society Foundations and was originally conceptualized and exhibited by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. It funds a range of programs around the world, from public health to education to business development.

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is part of the Open Society Foundations’ global network and is one of its four foundations in Africa. OSIWA is dedicated to the promotion of inclusive democratic governance, transparent and accountable institutions, and active citizenship across the region. OSIWA envisions a West Africa where people enjoy basic freedoms and participate meaningfully in civic and political life, where inequalities and inequities are minimized, exclusion gives way to greater appreciation for pluralism, governments are accountable and corruption is on the wane.