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Africa using a ball-point pen

Casa África is working with St John of God providing its hall for Africa using a ball-point pen, an exhibition for solidarity purposes for the Trauma Centre that St John of God is building in Cameroon.

The exhibition, which will run from 6th March to 25th April at Casa África, contains a collection of portraits drawn using a ball-point pen by the Seville architect Javier Jiménez Sánchez-Dalp. 26 pictures created from his inspiration while working on the construction of a Trauma Centre of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God in Douala, Cameroon.

The exhibition has a solidarity purpose, as the exhibits are for sale and the proceeds will go towards the construction of an Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Centre within the hospital trauma complex in Douala.

An artist first, then an architect, Jiménez Sánchez-Dalp has had impulses to draw everything that happens to him since his childhood. His experience in Africa alongside the Brothers of St John of God and his daily work with the people in the area have been enough to let loose his ball-point pen in the search of channelling his own emotions and, in turn, raise awareness and seek support to alleviate needs in this corner of the continent.

"The work goes beyond the purely artistic to flood the human, the deeply human side by giving a supportive response," said Francisco Benavides, director of the St John of God Museum of Granada, from where the works come from.

The paintings are notable for their simple lines, which despite this clearly show the protagonists' liveliness in the eyes and smiles as well as the friendliness of their expressions. This is the first drawing exhibition by this renowned architect who admits having thousands of pictures scattered in the homes of relatives and friends.

The aim of this exhibition is to raise awareness about the inequality afflicting the African continent. Cameroon is one of the 30 countries with the lowest human development, according to the UN. Particularly in Douala, the country's third most populous city, there are numerous cases of trauma and orthopaedic pathologies arising from congenital malformations, infections and a high rate of traffic and work accidents that are not properly cared for due to the distance.

The health centre that is presently being built by the Hospitaller Order specialises in trauma, orthopaedics and rehabilitation precisely to address such serious defects that affect all sectors of the population, including many children. The centre began its construction in 2012 and will be the third centre to be set up by St John of God in the country along with the Saint John of God Hospital of Nguti, also specialising in orthopaedics and trauma and Saint John of God Health Centre in Batibo.

As part of this exhibition, on 21st March at 8:00 pm at Casa Africa, Brother José Antonio Soria will present the lecture "Presence of the Hospitaller Order in Africa".

The Douala Project, for which the funds from the sale of these works will be used, is to build a centre specialised in trauma, orthopaedics and rehabilitation in the city of Douala, the largest city in Cameroon and one of the most populated in Central Africa.

Its main beneficiaries are people with disabilities, and this centre being the first of its kind in the city of Douala, where there is great demand for treatment of pathologies of this speciality.

The trauma and orthopaedics centre in Douala will be dedicated to treating children and adults with serious physical disabilities, for which the Order has been providing health care in the country since 1968. It is this experience of over 40 years of the Brothers of St. John of God in Africa which allows them to detect the need for care and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in the city of Douala, which has two million inhabitants and a high percentage children with severe malformations. The Rehabilitation Centre in Douala aims to facilitate access to health care resources to a large number of people who can not travel to other centres due to lack of resources and difficulties of access through the jungle.

Information on the exhibition:

  • What? Exhibition Africa using a ball-point pen 26 paintings drawn using a ball-point pen by architect Javier Jiménez Sánchez-Dalp
  • Where? In Casa África's Sahel Hall
  • When? From 6th March to 25th April 2014
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