How can art help us understand Humanitarian Principles? Recent events in Afghanistan are a stark reminder of the importance and relevance of humanitarian action, with the coronavirus crisis also demonstrating that the applicability of the humanitarian principles is not limited to faraway situations of war. Quite the opposite: the obligation to protect humanity in an impartial, neutral and independent manner is incumbent on all of us in our daily lives – here and now. “Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now” is a contemporary art exhibition 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. The four humanitarian principles – Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality and Independence – have been portrayed in the works of 17 Swiss and international artists and photographers, hoping to inspire all of us to reflect on these principles, their meaning across contexts and their relevance in our time.
Together with ICRC delegation in Japan and other partners – the Japanese Red Cross Society, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Japan and the Institut Français de Recherche sur le Japon at Maison Franco-Japonaise (IFRJ-MFJ) – the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan is bringing the exhibition to the Ebisu area of Tokyo during the month of October 2021.
On October 2 , the organizers and collaborators of the exhibition celebrated its opening under clear skies after a typhoon together with Masako Imaoka (photographer) a special guest artist of the Tokyo exhibition as well as graphic designer Alex Sonderegger (so+ba design) who curated and designed the project.
Designed as a visual promenade through Ebisu, 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 (viewpoint 1), an invitation for viewers to develop their own reflections through 6 international photographic angles (viewpoint 2) and 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 (viewpoint 4). Finally, the project in Tokyo features as special guest, renowned Japanese photographer Masako Imaoka, who presents her own perspectives on humanitarian principles (viewpoint 3). Each of the perspectives will be exhibited in and around Yebisu Garden Place, creating a visual promenade. In addition, experts from various fields will introduce their unique perspectives in online events.
Period: October 2-31
Place: Vicinity of Yebisu Garden Place
More information about "Here and Now"
Supporting partners of the exhibition: SAPPORO REAL ESTATE CO.,LTD., Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, and Japanese Red Cross Society
Curation and design for the exhibition in Tokyo: so+ba design tokyo/Zurich
Film production: Kohei Yamaguchi