Euphoria & Reach: Breast Cancer Awareness

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Following on from a successful flagship exhibit at KAMERS/Makers, Stellenbosch in October, Euphoria Telecom and Reach for Recovery are now taking their new He(art) Gallery to Johannesburg. 

Visitors to the KAMERS/Makers Johannesburg summer show at St David’s Marist Inanda from 29 November to 4 December have a chance to do their part to help breast cancer fighters by visiting an art gallery with an exciting twist. 

The He(art) Gallery – an interactive portrait exhibition featuring 12 cancer survivors – was co-created by Euphoria Telecom, cancer charity Reach for Recovery and its brand ambassador Marli du Toit (a fashion model, cancer survivor and creative content producer). The Gallery serves to promote awareness of Reach for Recovery and the important work it does, and to raise funds for this worthy cause. 

As Reach for Recovery’s new ambassador, Du Toit wanted to design a dynamic event that could combine her strengths, passions and networking abilities to raise funds and awareness for Reach for Recovery. Euphoria Telecom came on board to sponsor and co-design the He(art) Gallery, having selected Reach for Recovery as its primary CSI charity for 2022 and beyond. 

“When we first conceived the idea of a gallery at KAMERS/Makers everyone was thinking of black and white portraits showing the strength and tenacity of our survivors,” Du Toit says, “but I wanted to shoot them in the biggest, puffiest, poofiest dresses I could find, make them up, shower them in glitter and show them twirling and whirling like princesses and then take gorgeous photographs of these wonder women. These 12 photos of 12 different cancer conquerors lie at the heart of the He(ART) Gallery. My biggest challenge with breast cancer was loving myself through the physical changes that happen – losing your hair, your eyelashes, your breasts. This loss of femininity was a huge heartbreak and I wanted to reinstate access to the feminine heart in my survivors.”

What has resulted is an exhibition of light, colour and hope. 

“We are thrilled that Euphoria has come along and opened this gallery to make the public, and women specifically, more aware of breast cancer,” says Stephné Jacobs, chairperson of Reach for Recovery. “The He(art) Gallery gives visitors a wonderful opportunity  to take a photo, have fun, make a donation and learn about what you can do about breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease, how to be more aware and have a breast health plan in place.”

The Stellenbosch exhibit culminated in two vibrant fashion shows where the women featured in the He(ART) Gallery walked the ramp together with 18 other breast cancer survivors of different ages. Many of the wonderful ladies in these shows never imagined that they’d be seen on a catwalk but they rocked the garments they were wearing (all of which were available at the KAMERS market. 

“It was a truly celebratory affair,” says DJ Dani B, a fellow breast cancer survivor and thriver, who provided musical accompaniment for the occasion. “There was so much love, laughter and joy in the air”. 

Euphoria Telecom’s national marketing manager Lauren Pybus says that Reach for Recovery was a natural fit. “Our CSI committee wanted to find a charity we could support over a period of years, and cancer seemed the logical focus because the disease affects everyone. Many people in the Euphoria family have been personally affected by friends and family battling cancer, and we wholeheartedly believe in and back Reach for Recovery’s work. Plus, our team loves Marli’s energy and wants to help her drive the cause forward,” she comments. 

All visitors to KAMERS/Makers can explore the He(art) Gallery, which encourages them to ‘have a heart, do your part’, donate to Reach for Recovery, or buy a special memento with all proceeds going to this wonderful cause. 

“The space is all about generating funds – and creating awareness,” says Pybus, “so there are a few big photo moments inside the gallery. Visitors can take selfies and share them on social media with the hashtags #HaveAHeartDoYourPart, #ReachForRecovery, and #EuphoriaTelecom. This means visitors don’t necessarily have to make a donation or buy one of the items on sale, although those actions are obviously much appreciated. Visitors can still do their part simply by helping us raise the profile of Reach for Recovery and the work that they do. All you need to do to make that happen is take a photo in the gallery and share it online. It’s as easy as that.” 

“The Euphoria He(art) Gallery is one of the loveliest, most creative things I’ve seen in a long time,” says Kay Gagiano, special projects coordinator for Reach for Recovery. “I love the way it ties photographs of some of the breast cancer survivor models at the Punch for Pink fashion shows with the broader picture – it’s fun, it’s a fun way to engage a serious topic. I love the colour and the playfulness, it’s a great way to engage people.” 

The He(art) Gallery is open from 9am to 5pm every day for the duration of KAMERS/Makers (29 November to 4 December).

The He(ART) of the matter: radio overview

For more of the background story on how the He(ART) Gallery came together listen as Marli and Lauren discuss their creative process in an  insightful radio interview that was broadcast during breast cancer awareness month. 

Watch: Still not quite sure what to expect? These short video clips will put you in the picture. 

The He(ART) Gallery in 25 Seconds

‘It’s a wonderful opportunity’. Meet Stephné Jacobs

‘It’s not about us as a business!’ Meet John Woollam

“It’s a fun way to engage with a serious topic’. Meet Kayang Gagiano

‘A very proud partnership’! Euphoria national marketing manager Lauren Pybus

‘Hearts full of joy’! Meet Marli Du Toit

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