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NEWSText: Editor

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How can art help us understand Humanitarian Principles? A contemporary art exhibition “Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now” produced by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, in conversation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions will be held at the Ebisu area in Tokyo during the month of October 2021.


The four Humanitarian Principles Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence are the compass to guide any action that intends to provide aid and relief to millions of affected people. Through the works of 17 Swiss and international artists and photographers, it invites visitors to reflect on the principles underlying humanitarian action, their meaning across contexts and their relevance in our time.

Designed as a visual promenade through Ebisu, in Tokyo, the exhibition consists of several complementary elements: an overview of the humanitarian principles to help visitors familiarize themselves with the fundamental concepts underlying “Humanitarian Action“, an invitation for viewers to develop their own reflections through 6 international photographic angles, “Cinematographic Perspective“* and “Dialogues on Humanity” a series of artistic interpretations of these principles in the form of video works by 10 award-winning Swiss photographers, including Yann Gross, Cyril Porchet, Virginie Rebetez and Manon Wertenbroek. Finally, the project in Tokyo features as special guest, renowned Japanese photographer Masako Imaoka, who presents her own perspectives “Crisis and Cathatsis” on humanitarian principles.

In addition, experts from various fields will present their own perspectives in a few online events such as “Panel discussion: Humanitarian Aid in Afghanistan“, “With and for displaced women and girls” and “Conference: Peace and humanitarian principles” during term of the exhibition.

All exhibition material and additional resources are available on the web page Dialogues on Humanity. This is a tool for schools, friends, groups and individuals to delve into their own ideas of humanity, to look around and to consider what they can do first (i.e. put humanity into practice).

Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now
Date: October 2nd – 31st, 2021 (Outdoor)
*Part of the film works will be screening at Maison franco-japonaise (3-9-25 Ebisu) till October 16th.
Place: Ebisu area in Tokyo
Address: 4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 (0)3 5449 8437 (Embassy of Switzerland in Japan)

Text: Editor

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