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Exhibition images bring Phoenix to life

7 November 2017

Phoenix project doctors

Ground-breaking work to improve health and reduce poverty in Namibia will be highlighted in a new photographic exhibition.

The Phoenix Project, a partnership between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia (UNAM), has had a significant impact on the country since its launch in 2014.

The display at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) in Windhoek runs from 10 November 2017 to 18 February 2018 and seeks to bring some of the transformative work to life.

It follows a Phoenix Project photographic exhibition at the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff earlier this year, however this display is different and has been specifically curated for Namibia.

One of the key themes is the power of the youth of Namibia in science, health and national development.

Health also features prominently - including heart health, anaesthesia, critical care and first response in trauma care, areas in which the Phoenix Project has been prominent.

The exhibition, featuring images taken by Phoenix photographer Paul Crompton, will be officially opened by UNAM Vice-Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula at 18:00 on 9 November.

Project leader Professor Judith Hall said: "Working hand-in-hand with the University of Namibia, Phoenix is making a real impact so I’m delighted we have an exhibition to give people a flavour of what makes the project so special.

"One of the main themes of the exhibition is the power of youth - we can, we have done, and we will go forward harnessing this power. Youth energy, goodness and enterprise will make things better for all Namibians..."

"Phoenix has achieved a lot in a short space of time as visitors to the exhibition will appreciate, but there’s so much more I want to do – and I will!"

Professor Judith Hall Professor of Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine. Phoenix Project Lead

Professor Hangula said: "The Phoenix Project is a perfect example that north-south collaboration is not only possible but also that it can be very successful as well."

Ndeenda Shivute, of the National Art Gallery of Namibia, said: "Not only is the exhibition a tool to showcase the good work the project has done in Namibia but it is a great educational tool for the various visitors to the NAGN. This is a great showcase of how the arts and science can work together and we hope this is the beginning many collaborations."

Mr Crompton said: "It’s been a privilege to document the work of the Phoenix Project. From the learners in Keetmanshoop to the young doctors in Rundu, I have been so impressed by the desire these young Namibians have to grow, learn and make a difference for their country.

"I hope that I have managed to capture some sense of this in the images on show in the exhibition."

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, announced in March this year that the University would continue to fund Phoenix for a further five-year period, until at least 2022.

The project’s work taps into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty, health & wellbeing, and education.

Phoenix is part of Cardiff University’s Transforming Communities programme, which works with communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

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