This special issue of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies complements the <Immune Nations> speculative research-creation exhibition that focuses on visual art as a constructive contributor to global political discourse around life-saving vaccines. Curated by Natalie Loveless and co-led with Sean Caulfield and Steven J. Hoffman, <Immune Nations> features collaborative art and research projects directed by Jesper Alvær, Sean Caulfield, Timothy Caulfield, Caitlin Fisher, Steven J. Hoffman, Johan Holst, Annemarie Hou, Alison Humphrey, Rachelle Viader Knowles, Kaisu Koski, Vicki S. Kwon, Patrick Mahon, Patrick Fafard, Lathika Sritharan, and Mkrtich Tonoyan.
It was exhibited at Galleri KiT, Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, Trondheim, Norway, March 13–24, 2017; the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, May 23-June 30, 2017, and will be opening at the McMaster Art Museum, Hamilton, Canada, Fall 2021.
The <Immune Nations> exhibition and works featured in this special issue were funded by the International Collaboration for Capitalizing on Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Commodities (i4C) through a grant from the Research Council of Norway’s Global Health & Vaccination Programme (GLOBVAC Project #234608). Additional funding was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Killam Research Fund, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Significant in-kind support was also provided by a number of institutions, including: the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, UNAIDS, and McMaster Museum of Art through hosting each iteration of the <Immune Nations> exhibition and accompanying workshops; the Research Council of Norway through sponsoring an opening reception at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art; the governments of Canada and Namibia through co-hosting an opening reception at UNAIDS Headquarters that was additionally co-sponsored by UNAIDS, World Health Organization, Gavi, and the 54 countries of the Africa Group. Thanks are also due to the University of Alberta, University of Ottawa, and York University. It is the support of these varied funders and institutions that has made possible the robust, creative, and innovative research represented in this volume, and that, hopefully, helps pave a way forward for such collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives in the future.
More information about <Immune Nations> can be found online at www.immunenations.com.