Photography exhibition Making Peace on display in an Arab country for the first time

Article, 21.06.2016

A photography exhibition supported by Switzerland has opened on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, a location that has come to symbolise the democratic transition in Tunisia. The Making Peace exhibition portrays Nobel Prize laureates and is part of the Democracy Without Borders initiative. Switzerland is supporting the transition to democracy in Tunisia through local projects.

Surrounded by a group of people, the Tunisian culture minister cuts a ribbon.
The Tunisian culture minister, Sonia M’Barek, cutting a ribbon at the opening of the Making Peace exhibition. Beside her is Ouided Bouchamaoui, one of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates of 2015. © FDFA

The Making Peace photography exhibition opened at the end of May. The Swiss embassy organised a ceremony to launch the exhibition.  Among those in attendance was former National Councillor Andreas Gross, who is involved as a project ambassador in Tunisia in the Democracy Without Borders initiative launched by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter.

Three of the four members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which in 2015 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, were also present. The quartet consists of members of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. They have been active proponents of national dialogue in Tunisia.

120 images

Making Peace is a campaign to raise public awareness on peace, the rule of law, democracy and human rights.  It aims to inform a broad audience about what needs to be done to ensure lasting peace, and encourages people to work for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

The exhibition features 120 photos on the topic as well as portraits of various Nobel Prize laureates. Having been displayed in various cities, including Geneva, Basel, Stockholm and Cape Town, the Making Peace exhibition can now be viewed in an Arab country for the first time.

For the next three months passers-by will be able to view the photos on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the centre of Tunis, one of the main sites of the demonstrations that took place in 2011. The organisers are taking this opportunity to appeal to the widest possible audience to raise awareness of the issue.

Switzerland’s long-term efforts

Since the political upheaval in 2011 set in motion a lengthy and uncertain transition process in North Africa, Switzerland has been supporting the transition to democracy in Tunisia.  The various SDC and Human Security Division projects include activities to promote democracy and human rights.

In her speech for the opening of the exhibition, Swiss Ambassador Rita Adam said that by organising the Making Peace exhibition, Switzerland wanted to draw attention to the journey to democratic transition that is under way in Turkey, and the ability of Tunisians to solve conflicts through dialogue. Four civil society organisations that have been engaging in efforts in favour national dialogue deservingly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, she added.

Supporting the democratic transformation process in Tunisia was also the goal of Andreas Gross's visit to the country’s capital as project ambassador for the Swiss initiative Democracy Without Borders. The former National Councillor met prominent politicians and journalists there. Andreas Gross has visited Tunisia several times in recent years, including as head of the Council of Europe's election observation missions in 2011 and 2014.