Storytelling, emotion and art are deeply intertwined. In some cases, the most compelling stories and deepest feelings can be conveyed without words, and we’re able to absorb the artist’s journey simply by viewing their work.
Such is the case with the virtual exhibit ERes Arte, an initiative carried out by Sanofi Genzyme Spain in collaboration with the Federación Española de Enfermedades Raras (FEDER). Launched at the end of 2019, the photo competition invited rare disease patients in Spain, as well as their families, friends and caregivers, to submit photographs that captured their rare experience, with the exhibit’s ultimate goal to raise awareness about a patient population that often suffers without being seen.
“‘ERes Arte’ is a way for Sanofi Genzyme and FEDER to express different viewpoints to a large number of people,” said Francisco J. Vivar, Head of Sanofi Genzyme Iberia. “We believe that it is the best way to give visibility to the issues, dreams, hopes and frustrations faced by this community, showcased through an artistic exhibition.”
Over 130 images were submitted and an independent jury of health experts and photographers had the unenviable task of selecting only 29 for the final exhibit. The number 29 is significant because Rare Disease Day, observed on the last day of February, landed on February 29 in 2020 because of the leap year. It was truly the rarest day of the year.
Originally planned as an in-person, multi-city event, the exhibit was opened virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although there are hopes to host a physical version in Spain this September, to coincide with FEDER’s annual meeting.
The exhibit website is currently only available in Spanish. All 29 images and descriptions are below.