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Utopian lab: TB photography

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that is often fatal. Living with TB – whether as a sufferer or a TB nurse – is a committed fight for life. With no prior photographic training or experience, a group of nurses were equipped with 35mm disposable cameras and asked to record their lives caring for patients with TB. Capturing the day-to-day with spontaneity, these photographs are a fascinating illustration of what it looks like to fight for life in the face of TB; of the daily successes and challenges, and perhaps most markedly of the dedication to infinitely repeating patterns of patient care, a pattern that repeats globally.

Project lead

Uta Grosse is an emergency nurse who recently completed her PhD at King’s College London. Uta is interested in TB and infectious diseases and the work in TB Photography formed part of her PhD thesis.  

Utopian lab

This project was part of the Utopian lab, a contemporary glimpse of the Health Faculties at King’s College London. The crusade to understand, save and compliment the human body and mind was the spirit of Utopia itself, uniting cultures, defining humanity and standing on the shoulders of giants.

Rotating through the different stories of present day work day work being carried out across the Health Faculties at King’s College London, Utopian lab was a snapshot of the future with roots firmly planted in King’s College Hospital’s past: a workhouse on the Strand that was propelled to notoriety by the surgery work of Joseph Lister in the late 19th century. 

‘I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results’ – Florence Nightingale



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