Nurses of Ubuntu: Images of caring

by | Feb 14, 2014 | A&E

Kate Richards
A&E Reporter

Ubuntu is an ancient African philosophy of human interconnectedness and has been described as the art of being human.

L Space Gallery at Humber’s Lakeshore campus is hosting Nurses of Ubuntu. The photography exhibit opens today and showcases the nursing students in the School of Health Sciences at Humber who have traveled to Tanzania and Jamaica to work with local communities.

“We want to showcase creativity in as many ways as possible,” said Ashley Watson, Curator at L Space. Not only will the Nurses of Ubuntu exhibit show what the nurses are doing, it will also show how they wish to express it creatively, she said.

The International Community Development project, led by Sylwia Wojtalik and Janet Jeffery, began in 2009. The exhibit includes photos by nursing students who took part in the project, and Wojtalik, who is also a nursing professor at Humber’s School of Health Sciences.

Nursing is a very diverse occupation and not many people think about it in that way, said Wojtalik.

“(Nurses) work so hard and are amazing people, but nobody really knows much about us. And photography is such a nice platform for letting the world know the many faces of nursing,” she said.

Pointing to one of the photos that will be showcased at Nurses of Ubuntu of a mother carrying her baby on her back, Wojtalik described how the photo “speaks a volume about human-ness and how we are all connected.”

Denise Pinnock graduated from the practical nursing program in 2012 and currently attends the bachelor of nursing program at Humber. She volunteered at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica from May to June 2012 as part of the community development program.

“The amount I learned in that span of two months was absolutely spectacular,” Pinnock said.

When people think nursing, they think women, caring, and changing diapers, she said, expressing the many stereotypes she believes are attached to the profession of nursing.

Nursing is not only about this idea of caring. There is so much more to it that she feels many people don’t realize.

Wojtalik expressed serious passion about the idea of global togetherness. Nurses of Ubuntu brings to Humber a snapshot of what its students can do overseas. She hopes to expand the International Community Development project to all programs within the Health Sciences Department in the future. Pinnock’s photo, Missing Baby, will be highlighted at Nurses of Ubuntu and touches on an experience she had with a patient she witnessed give birth to a nine-month-old stillborn.

“This exhibit will shine a new light on nursing in a way,” said Pinnock.