Susana Cámara Leret
 Works 

The Institute for the Design of Tropical Disease
11.2015 — 12.2016

Installation: Metal / Smell molecules / Soil / Bamboo shoots / Mosquito cage / Screen / Printed matter


w/ Mike Thompson, Dr. Niels Verhulst + Prof. Willem Takken from The Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR) — Supported by Stimuleringsfonds E-Cultuur + Stichting DOEN — Photography by Gyalpo Batstra + Gert Jan van Rooij



The institute for the design of tropical disease attempts to reimagine tropical disease and its narratives. Its on-going investigations are inspired by the performative history of tropical disease, considering the colonisation of bodies and spaces from the molecular, human and environmental scales. The project revisits tales of biopiracy in the history of medicine, retracing the story of quinine through botanical enterprises linked to the exploitation and commercialisation of this alkaloid. Reacting to anthropocentric views on disease transmission, the project experiments with the cultivation of artificial sweat, merging human skin bacteria with pig skin, to question anthropophilic notions of attractability through the behaviour of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main vector of malaria thought to have evolved to feed mainly on human blood.

Developing its own hybrid research artefacts, such as Rain Rain Go Away!, the work addresses interactions between soil bacteria and atmospheric processes, to produce the molecules of environmental odours that communicate incoming 'rain' to mosquitoes.

2010 — 2019