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Photo exhibition Humanity in War opens at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

08-03-2010 News Footage

An exhibition organized by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Tv News Footage Transmission 
  TV news footage transmitted
  on Eurovision ENS, 9th March, 20:30 GMT (tentative)


Date, location: March 2010 / Geneva

Length: 4'53 "

Format: 16:9 anamorphic

Production: Didier Revol

Cameraman: Louis Mouchet

Editor: Louis Mouchet

Sound: English, French

Rights: ICRC Access All

ICRC ref: V F CR-F-01039-B
Humanity in War 
  frontline photographiy since 1860  


 Humanity in War traces the history of recent wars and illustrates the reality of contemporary conflicts and their humanitarian consequences. From the American Civ il War which took place 150 years ago to the conflicts of the early 21st century, the camera lens has recorded moments of courage, dignity, challenge and hope against a backdrop of pain and suffering. The exhibition focuses on the people who suffered as a result of armed conflict and those that came to their aid.

Photography documents the reality of war and is essential for improving people's understanding of current and past events. It is through photography that most of us who have not directly experienced war get an idea of the pain it causes. While the written word can describe the suffering of people experiencing war, a photo adds another dimension evoking compassion and shaping public perception. 

The ICRC possesses an uninterrupted visual record of wars during the past century and a half and of the humanitarian activities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement from its inception to today. Forty images from its archives were selected for the exhibition, which takes the viewer on a chronological journey of some of the world's most tragic events. The pictures on display were selected from the International Committee of the Red Cross’s collection of more than 110,000 photographs.

 "Photographs are not cold documents that merely prove something happened. They put a human face on events that might otherwise appear to be abstract or ideological, a matter of statistics or monumental in their global impact. No matter how overwhelming an event, what happens to people at ground level happens to them individually, and photography has a unique ability to portray events from their point of view. Photography gives a voice to the voiceless. It's a call to action." James Nachtwey

This photo exhibition includes a series of new multimedia clips, combining film and photographs, in which people tell persona l stories of how they have been affected by armed conflict, or, how they help others to cope. 

The multimedia clips incorporate images from eight countries in 2009 taken by five leading war photographers, including James Nachtwey and Franco Pagetti. They depict the reality and brutality of armed conflict and other violence in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia and the Philippines. The video collations show that even in the darkest hours of despair there is a sense of hope and pride among the victims.

Many of today's contemporary wars tend to be asymmetric, where combatants have different military capacities, and to take place in urban areas. The distinction between civilians and combatants is not always clear or respected. Civilians in these circumstances are especially vulnerable to violations of humanitarian law including murder, forced disappearance, torture and sexual violence.

The enforcement of humanitarian law is clearly more difficult in this type of conflict. Confrontations often become extremely brutal – and the rules largely ignored – where there is a lack of discipline among combatants, where civilians are armed, and where the distinction between combatants and civilians becomes increasingly blurred.

Temporary exhibition from 3 March to 25 July 2010

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays – free entry

  Please consult following linkfor more info on the exhibit  



00 00: Stairs to the Museum with flag " Humanité en guerre "

00 04: Tilt down from ICRC headquarters to Museum entrance with Red Cross and Red Crescent flags

00 10: Sign " Entrance "

00 14: Entrance of Museum

00 21: Statues in front of Museum (silent victims)

0025: Front desk with inscription " Chacun est responsable de tout devant tous " / " Each one of us is responsible to all others for everything " "

00 29: Cover of book L'Humanité en guerre and page turning

00 35: people sitting on a bench reading the book during exhibition (3 shots)

00 48: Inside entrance to the exhibit

00 52: People attending exhibit

00 57: Museum director Roger Mayou and Pres. of Geneva State Council François Longchamp

01 08: More people attending (3 shots)

01 26: Thomas Osterbery commenting picture (English)

  You've got the gun that states a clear signal of aggression, especially the one behind. But then the eyes don't speak full aggression. They speak a bit of softness. Just a tiny bit, a hint of it."  

01 41: Close up of photograph

01 45: More people attending

0152: video screen displaying multimedia clips (2 shots)

02 00: ITW Michelle Rockwell ICRC press officer (English)

  The ICRC has a collection of photographs dating back to the 1860's when both photography and humanitarian action began. And in this exhibit one can see the evolution of armed conflict, from the days when wars were fought on a clearly defined battlefield."  

02 21: ICRC photographic archive unit – Employee retrieving prints from drawer (2 shots)

02 36: Old glass stills on light table (2 shots)

02 47: Modern slides being checked (2 shots)

03 05: ITW Michelle Rockwell ICRC press officer (English)

  And sadly this has changed over the centuries since. Wars are rarely fought by armed forces on a battlefield. There are no clear boundaries. Often times there is no clear beginning or end and sadly it's the civilians, the men, women and children, who bear the brunt."  

03 25: Lily Papandropoulos commenting picture (English)

  "Every picture tells you a story actually, and there is tragedy behind. I mean look at this man for instance, standing there in front of this terribly devastated home and he would not know where to start, to start a new life and building up his house."  

03 51: Close up on picture

03 55: ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger commenting picture (English)

  "You have here a mobile clinic of surgeons working in Darfur. Thanks to courageous and very motivated people you can alleviate a lot of suffering."  

04 12: Close up on picture

04 16: Museum director Roger Mayou (French)

  "Cette expo est issue d'un livre qui a été realisé l'année passée. Elle a déjà beaucoup tourné dans le monde, elle a eu un succès énorme partout et il nous semblait au fond très naturel de la montrer à Genève dans le Musée de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge. Sa portée est extrêmement importante puisque au fond c'est un tout petit extrait mais de l'immense richesse des plus de 110 000 images que possèdent les archives photographiques du CICR qui documentent l'histoire certes des conflits mais quand même aussi l'histoire de l'humanité ces 150 dernières années."  

04 53: ENDS


  For more information, please contact:
  Florian Westphal (International Committee of the Red Cross)
  Tel: +41 79 217 32 80
      Corinne Liardon (International Red Cross Red Crescent Museum)
  Tel: + 41 22 748 95 01

      For more information on tapes and FTP access to news footage, contact:
  Didier Revol, ICRC Geneva on + 41 79 217 32 82 or :
  From 20.03.2010 contact:

  • Copyright: ICRC
  • Running time: To be completed
  • Type of product: Book