May 25, 2019

Life of Mine by the Embassy of Switzerland

Photo Exhibition at the Atrium, City Hall of The Hague

In the picture H.E. Mr. Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Netherlands.

The Swiss Embassy in the Netherlands presented Life of  Mine, a  photo exhibition curated by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) to mark the International Day of Mine Awareness  (April 4) in the Atrium of the City Hall of The Hague. 

During his speech, Ambassador Walker-Nederkoorn remarked: When my colleagues in Switzerland offered us the possibility of presenting this exhibition, my Deputy Mirko Zambelli and I immediately thought that The Hague, City of Peace of Justice, would be the perfect location.  It is perhaps a way to show the complementarity of Geneva and The Hague as two international cities hosting organisations engaged to promote human rights, sustainable development, safe migration, peace and justice. It is also important to note that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. The mine action we are promoting today relates directly to the humanitarian spirit embedded in these conventions.

A series of photographs by Johannes Müller showed to hundreds of visitors the manifold impact that the explosive remnants of war have on communities, shedding light on the people whose lives have been impacted by explosive hazards and those who dedicate their lives to eliminating them. 

Live of Mine exhibition by the Embassy of Switzerland. Atrium, The Hague.

“For almost 10 years I have been covering conflict areas, war zones and combat theaters as a freelance photographer, working on documentaries on some of the most gruesome, brutal and inhuman conflicts of our time. Cease-fire or even liberation don’t necessarily mean that you are safe. In fact, this is – in most conflicts – the most dangerous phase for human beings. A phase that can stretch over decades.” Johannes Müller, photographer.

The exhibit with the main purpose of giving mine action a human face, runed from April 9 to 30 at the Atrium Den Haag (The Hague’s City Hall). Life-sized portrait photos allow viewers to truly “encounter” the subjects via their stories, at a very emotional and human level, to provide a deep, empathy-generating insight into mine action. The images were taken in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lebanon and Colombia.

Mr. Mirko Zambelli, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland with representatives from Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and from The HALO Trust.

The GICHD works toward keeping communities safe from the risks stemming from explosive ordinance. It supports its partners around the world to save lives and restore livelihoods.

By offering workshops and training courses, developing concepts, methods and tools, promoting open dialogue, sharing knowledge and promoting the effective and efficient use of resources,  the Centre supports the ultimate goals of mine action: saving lives, returning land to productive use, and promoting development.

Visiting a Live of Mine exhibition presented by the Embassy of Switzerland at the Atrium City Hall, The Hague.

Switzerland is fully committed to a world without new victims of mines, cluster munitions, and explosive remnants of war, and is a founding member of the GICHD.

For more information about the International Day of Mine Awareness, please visit Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining – GICHD and #togetheragainstmines

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