Conference 2021 Hot-Doc Video
The art of prevention and advocacy: A virtual art exhibition for the European Week Against Cancer amid the pandemic
Authors and Affiliations
Christos Tsagkaris1,2, Yakup Gozderesi2,3, Adele Barlassina3, Ginevra Papi3
1. University of Crete, Faculty of Medicine, Heraklion, Greece
2. The Association of European Cancer Leagues, Brussels, Belgium
3. Marmara University, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
A virtual art exhibition was organized by ambassadors of the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC) during the European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) 2020. The EWAC brings together cancer charities, civil society, policy-makers and the general public. Activities conducted by the Youth Ambassadors (YAs) of the ECAC span from conferences to marathons. The art exhibition was first organized, in a semi-virtual manner, in May 2019. During the pandemic, the exhibition was moved to Artsteps, a virtual reality platform in order to advocate for cancer prevention as iconically as possible while being inclusive and widely accessible. 18 artworks from 8 WHO Europe countries were submitted to the exhibition. 70% came from medical students and the rest from junior doctors, dentistry, physiology, biochemistry and social work students. The artworks reflected on cancer prevention and care while promoting patients and survivors rights, equal access to cancer treatment and the empowerment of patients and survivors. The exhibition was promoted by the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and other significant EU NGOs attracting 1100 visits during the EWAC and 1400 visits so far. The use of art in cancer prevention and advocacy has enhanced medical education and health literacy among the general public. In our case, the structure and the methodology of the exhibition have been successfully used for a World Cord Blood Day event and for two digital health hackathons. Future plans include using the structure of the exhibition in regular teaching sessions and encouraging healthcare workers to communicate science with art.