Healers of sub-Saharan Africa
Medicine in Africa: between tradition and modernity
Conference – symposium – exhibition as part of the Bicentenary of the University of Liège
An event from the Centre for Partnership and Cooperation in the Development of the University of Liège, in collaboration with the Museums of the City of Liège
As part of the bicentenary of the University of Liège, the Centre for Partnership and Cooperation in the Development of the University of Liège (PACODEL) is organising, in collaboration with the Museums of the City of Liège, a conference, a symposium and an exhibition concerning the theme of healers in Africa.
The Healers of sub-Saharan Africa exhibition consists of photographs by Clément Delaude, a professor of chemistry at the University of Liège and an amateur photographer. He brought back an impressive collection of images from his many journeys and trips to Africa, where his work focused on plant chemistry. Many of these images are devoted to healers.
In Africa, healers – both herbalists and soothsayers – play a central role in community life. According to the World Health Organisation, 80% of Africans regularly use their services, preferring remedies from healers over advice from a doctor. Today, this traditional medicine, which is based on a more holistic approach rather than a biomedical one, tends to be increasingly integrated into official medicine, for both pragmatic and political reasons.
Most of the photographs date from the 1970s and the 1980s, but they remain completely relevant. The exhibition will open on 9 November 2017 at 6pm.
On 9 November 9 at 4.30pm, Professor Marc-Éric Gruénais, an anthropologist from the University of Bordeaux and a specialist in these issues, will give an introductory lecture on the theme: From the politicisation to the medicalisation of "traditional and complementary medicines".
The "Medicine in Africa: between tradition and modernity" symposium will be held on 10 November between 9.30am and 5pm. The program is divided into three sessions, which deal with the topic of the plurality of knowledge and different approaches to health. The first will be devoted to the integration of traditional healers into modern medicine; the second concerns interactions between human and animal medicine and the last pertains to ethnopharmacology.