Photo Exhibition: ‘Letter from the Hills: The Invisible Burden of Leprosy in Sumba’


  • Public and Community Engagement at the Wellcome Trust Africa Asia Vietnam Programme
  • The International League of Dermatological Societies.

Visit the virtual exhibition here 

This new photography exhibition is by Yoppy Pieter, an award-winning photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia.


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 of 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 limit people’s opportunities to participate in education, employment, and society. Leprosy affects poor and vulnerable societies that live in remote and underserved areas. It challenges communities that are already plagued by inequities and lack access to care.  

About the exhibition

In the exhibition, Yoppy Pieter documented, through a series of intimate and beautiful images, the invisible burden of leprosy in Sumba, an island in Nusa Tenggara Timor province, Indonesia.

Yoppy not only exposed their daily challenges and the stigma they face, but also illustrated their resilience, vigour, and hopes for the future. Through these personal stories and photographs, we aim to raise awareness of leprosy and improve public knowledge to help destigmatise this devastating disease. 

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

We invite visitors to take time to explore the themes of the exhibition and view the images created by Yoppy Pieter. 

Previous slide
Next slide


Yoppy Pieter, Marlous L Grijsen
April 23, 2023
Skip to content