The Embassy of Switzerland in Qatar has inaugurated a one-of-its-kind exhibition at the Doha Fire Station, featuring the works of 10 Swiss photographers that shed light on the importance of ‘Humanitarian Principles’ and provide a platform for discussion.

“The 10 Swiss photographers they have done some photographs to somehow reflect on the issue of violence, of inspiration, but also of hope, that through the respect of international principles of humanity these violations of human rights can be avoided and ended even in the direst conflict situation,” Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig told Gulf Times.

Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig at the opening of the Humanitarian Principles Here and Now exhibition.

The contemporary art installation, titled ‘Humanitarian Principles Here and Now’ is curated by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland and being held in Doha until October 19 in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.

The exhibition, shown in 50 locations around the world, aims “to give the visitors a better understanding and deeper insight into the significance that humanitarian principles have in everyday life and provides a space for dialogue on humanity.” It started in Geneva two years ago.

Some of these photographs include Virginie Rebetez’s Memorial Garden, Mark Henley’s Facing Prejudice, Rebecca Bowring’s The Mechanical Bride, and Sarah Carp’s Renaissance, among others.

Doerig said that 10 short films around the same topic are also being screened at the Doha Fire Station cinema, in addition to a symposium on International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

“The conventions are maybe not so easy for the access for the general public but there you can really see what is not allowed even in war situations, but it boils down at the end to respect of life, of human behaviour – even prisoners – they have rights, they cannot be tortured, etc… and that is expressed here in these photos, in these films, and also in the general principles,” the envoy said.

The embassy noted that Qatar residents and even those from abroad can also follow the exhibition via QR codes to see the photos, videos, and reactions of the public in 11 languages. They can also take pasrt and share their views, personal thoughts, feelings, questions and stories in the worldwide conversation #DialoguesOnHumanity.

Speaking at the event, ICRC Qatar Head of Mission Cherine Pollini underlined the significance of the exhibition saying “it allows us to dive into those humanitarian principles and leads us to think about the impacts of war, natural catastrophes, and more recently, of pandemics and their bearing.”

“There is a special relationship between the ICRC and the IHL, the ICRC was founded more than a 150 years ago in recognition of the reality that even in armed conflicts there must be limits and those limits are enshrined under IHL,” she said.

Pollini also stressed that ICRC remains constant in its neutral, independent, and impartial humanitarian approach to providing protection and assistance to victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

The opening of the exhibition was also attended by Sultan Barakat, director of the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies; Doha Fire Station exhibitions co-ordinator Amal Zeyad Ali; and other dignitaries and guests.

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