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OUCRU Indonesia launches a new exhibition by photographer Yoppy Pieter based in Jakarta, Indonesia. This exhibition documents, through a series of intimate and beautiful images, the invisible burden of leprosy and other skin diseases in Sumba, an island in Nusa Tenggara Timor province, Indonesia.

Woman hoding a flower, with the text 'Letter from the hills, the invisible burden of leprosy in Sumba'

In this exhibition Yoppy Pieter shares a glimpse of the lives of seven people affected by leprosy from Sumba: not only  their daily challenges and the stigma they face, but also their resilience, vigour, and hopes for the future.

Through these personal stories and photographs, OUCRU Indonesia aims to raise awareness on leprosy and improve the public knowledge to help destigmatise this devastating disease. 

Leprosy is an infectious skin disease affecting more than 200,000 people around the world every year. Indonesia is the country with the third highest number of people with leprosy (after India and Brazil). It is curable with multidrug therapy but, if poorly managed, can result in permanent lifelong disabilities that cause significant discomfort, disfigurement and loss in quality of life. Worldwide, around 4 million people are living with some form of disability as a result of leprosy. 

Leprosy and its complications take a severe toll on a person’s mental and social well-being. People with leprosy, and their family members, are often heavily stigmatised as a result of the misconceptions that surround the disease. This stigma and the associated discrimination, limits people’s opportunities to participate in education, employment and society. Leprosy affects poor and vulnerable societies who live in remote and underserved areas. It challenges communities that are already plagued by inequities and lack access to care.  

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and Sumba Foundation, Sumba, and is financially supported by Public and Community Engagement at the Wellcome Trust Africa Asia Vietnam Programme and the International League of Dermatological Societies.

The exhibition is held at Kala Gallery, Block M in central Jakarta from 10 to 20 of November 2022, and virtually
Visit the virtual exhibition 'Letter from the Hills: The Invisible Burden of Leprosy'