Helena MacDonald

Wise Women

Wise Women is aimed at improving access to healthcare for women in rural communities within the Global South, whilst simultaneously creating roles for women in the healthcare system.

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The Wise Women combine traditional healing methods and approaches with modern medicine. They are trusted members of the community, whose role is to advise other women about preventative health measures, treat simple conditions, and refer more complex cases to specialists. Young women are offered the opportunity to become a community Wise Woman and are trained by their elders before they are able to practice alone and eventually pass on their knowledge to the next generation. They use wearable ‘Techxtiles’, created from weaving together fabric and conductive fibres, to aid diagnostics and treatment. This speculative project builds upon the current roles of women in the textile industries within some Africa cultures and explores a natural evolution of this industry as the technological abilities of the world develop. Most crucially this project aims to highlight a move away from the clinical ‘west is best’ mindset, towards one of empathy and touch.