"Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now": Understanding humanitarian principles and their significance in Bangladesh

Press releases, 09.06.2022

Cox’s Bazar (Embassy of Switzerland / ICRC / Liberation War Museum) – The Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh have jointly brought the exhibition "Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now" to Cox’s Bazar, in collaboration with the Photo Elysée Museum of Lausanne, Switzerland. Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Chargée d'Affaires of the Embassy of Switzerland, Mr. Md. Shamsud Douza, Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, and Mr. Manish Das, Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Cox’s Bazar, inaugurated the exhibition today at the Cox’s Bazar Cultural Centre (Art Club). 

How can people respond to humanitarian crises and help those in despair collectively or individually? The contemporary art installation and exhibition "Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now" responds to these human and personal emotions and quests through visual representations. With carefully selected photos and videos, the exhibition aims to give the visitors a better understanding of and a deeper insight into the significance that humanitarian principles represent in everyday lives and their impact in the local context. It further creates a space to discuss and share views on Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality and Independence - four key humanitarian principles.

"Humanitarian principles are very important for Switzerland and they have been pivotal in our five-decade-long relationship with Bangladesh. Switzerland has supported the Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh with over USD 50 Million since 2017. We will continue to remain engaged, by providing humanitarian aid, implementing development cooperation projects, and working towards durable solutions to this crisis", said Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Chargée d'Affaires of the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh. "As our two countries are celebrating 50 years of bilateral relations this year, this exhibition aptly projects one key aspect of Switzerland’s strong and multifaceted ties with Bangladesh", she added.

"Humanitarian principles are at the core of the ICRC operations. They are the foundation pillars that guide the ICRC to remain trusted by the affected communities, to try to understand and to address their humanitarian needs in the best possible manner", said Mr. Manish Das, Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Cox’s Bazar. "I hope this exhibition will generate critical thinking about the importance of humanitarian principles and the necessity of being aligned with them", mentioned Mr. Das.

“Humanitarian Principles. Here and Now” contains photographs and films through which artists share their vision of humanitarian principles in order to examine their impact from a fresh, local and contemporary perspective. The photos on display also provide a retrospective and information about the ICRC’s and Switzerland’s role and activities in Bangladesh during the 1971 war and the last five decades. Furthermore, 10 original short films from the lenses of 10 Swiss photographers reflecting where they see humanitarian principles at play in their everyday lives are also shown, alongside six award-winning photographs. 

This exhibition invites the visitors to critically reflect on humanitarian principles and their significance. It is available in both English and Bengali language and welcomes all visitors at Cox’s Bazar Cultural Centre (Art Club). It is open for the public from 9 to 18 June (11 am- 8 pm).