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Reference : V-P-AU-E-00039
Date : 06/06/2023
Country/Region : AUSTRALIA
Caption : Canberra, Gorman Arts Centre. ICRC exhibition "War in Cities". The exhibition includes a powerful commission by local artist Marwa Charmand featuring human stories from conflict.
Photographer : CONTADOR KELSALL, Emily
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : "To watch the city you love die is heart-breaking, yet this is a reality for many as wars are increasingly fought in urban areas. When wars are fought in cities, they devastate buildings and infrastructure, they endanger the lives of civilians. And even after the fighting ends, the effects last for decades.
"This year, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is bringing the War in Cities exhibit to Australia, with showings in Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. A powerful new commission from artist Marwa Charmand joins the exhibition, showcasing human stories from conflict. The exhibition will next be shown at the University of Queensland from 16 August - 3 September.
"What happens when war quite literally knocks at the door of your apartment? The horrors of being trapped in a city at war are manifold: the water stops flowing, the light and heating go off, windows are shattered by shock waves from nearby explosions, food becomes scarce, and life turns into a constant struggle to survive. Unearthing new strength from within becomes a new way of life as routine things like having clean water can be an unrelenting challenge.
"In 2017, we asked our ICRC colleagues in Iraq to collect objects from areas they visited just after the fighting had stopped as they brought relief or family news to survivors. The request was unusual and it took a few trips to identify, photograph and collect these items from the destroyed cities of Baiji and Ramadi. With the authorization of their owners or the local community, these objects were collected from destroyed buildings that had just been cleared of explosives, from the streets and from a school left in ruins.
"Objects collected from battlefields, historical and contemporary audiovisual materials from the ICRC tell a story about the staggering toll of urban warfare on people, the humanitarian needs that arise, and people's resilience.
"Wars are generally represented in museums long after the facts have been documented and the dead buried. But wars can be told in a different way: a teddy bear covered with grey concrete dust or the few delicate porcelain remnants of tradition recount another, no less important, story from this modern battlefield."

Source: ICRC website, event 16/08/2023-03/09/2023
Original material : digital
Resolution : 1920x1281
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour