15 December 2015 07:00 - 17 December 2015 16:30

Loss, Resilience and Hope: Paintings by Donya Hafezi Haghani

About the event

Exhibited at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, now in the ICRC Restaurant ahead of International Migrants Day, for three days only

Donya Hafezi Haghani works for the ICRC in Tehran, Iran, helping to restore contact between families who have become separated. She is also a gifted painter. In this series of paintings entitled "Loss, Resilience and Hope," Donya portrays in a powerful and personal way the hardships migrant women and children face on their journeys and even after they reach safety. Through a subtle combination of oil paint and photographs, she shows how these women wait and remain hopeful even when their situations appear desperate and hopeless.

About the artist

Donya is half Iranian and half Bahraini. She moved to Iran when she was 14 years old and often travelled to Bahrain as the Iran/Iraq war was taking place. During these trips she witnessed not only destruction but also the difficulties refugees faced as they fled to safety.

Painting was to become Donya's refuge, an outlet for her feelings. Her love of painting led her to study art at university, followed by studies in journalism. Throughout this time, she held onto her dream of working with refugees.

In December 2009, she joined the ICRC, where she works mainly with Afghan refugees who have lost touch with their loved ones.

''I get much of my inspiration from Afghan refugees. I paint with them in mind. My intention is to depict their emotions, struggles and daily life on canvas."

Donya's work

Donya says:

"I love my job because it enables me to be in contact with refugees and migrants. I can feel their pain and sorrow and help them get back in touch with their families. Often, female migrants are the ones who suffer the most as they are more vulnerable and can break under the financial and emotional pressure of the situation. But at the same time they are caring and strong, trying to keep the family together. Seeing their suffering, I felt the need to convey their pain and expectations to others, so I started to take photos and draw paintings of them. I have tried to show how these women feel and that no matter how difficult life gets, they remain strong and caring."

The exhibition is open to the public and is in the ICRC restaurant, which is above the Humanitarium.

Opening times

Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 December 2015 ONLY, 0730 - 1630


Date & Time

15 December 2015 07:00 - 17 December 2015 16:30

Venue address

ICRC Restaurant (above the Humanitarium)
17 avenue de la paix, 1202 Geneva