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15 Sep 2014 - 4 Oct 2014


Exhibition of photographs by Jean Mohr organized to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the first Geneva Conference in 1864.

From early on, Jean Mohr sought to understand and explain the drama of civilians trapped in belligerent situations. His work is the result of decades of experience, in an ICRC and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) delegate transformed himself into a full-time photographer after a spell at an academy of painting. More than 80 exhibitions worldwide have been dedicated to his work, including two at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne that holds his collection. In 1978, at Photokina (Frankfurt’s major Photography Fair), Jean Mohr was awarded the prize for the photographer who had most consistently served the cause of human rights. He is one of the best representatives of humanist photography, masterfully balancing sensitivity and rigor, emotion and reflection, art and documentary evidence.

The exhibition addresses the issues of victims of conflicts, refugees and communities suffering from war and still under potential threat. It focuses on the emblematic cases of Palestine, Cyprus and Africa. Other examples illustrate the universal problems of populations directly or indirectly enduring repercussions of war (in Iran, Pakistan, Nicaragua, etc.). Palestine, its refugee camps, precarious sanitary conditions, and the Gaza stalemate, whilst being the subject of major media attention, is a case worthy of reconsideration. It needs to be regularly re-explained and repositioned in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The case of Cyprus serves as a reminder that the refugee problem still remains an issue for certain members of the European Union. Several hundreds of thousands of people were forced into exile. Africa too needed to be addressed, as the post-colonial conflicts forced millions into displacement. The fragility of these states, outlined by inherited colonial borders, regularly fuels turmoil which leads to humanitarian crises. The refugee problem is present throughout the continent. Focusing upon these three geographical regions presents the problem of war victims in an historical setting classified by the theme: “Portraits of Exile,” “The Children’s Diaspora,” “Temporary Landscapes” and “Life Goes On.” These photographs render a face to the casualties and retrace the steps of their displacement, from their settlement in the precariousness of the camps and reception centres to their attempts to adapt to an enduring situation. 

Photographs by Jean Mohr will travel around the world until 2016.


Please join us for the Panel Discussion on Human Rights on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 6 p.m. It will be conducted in both English and Czech and will be followed by the Concert of Eliana Burki & iAlpinisti.


Exhibition of Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Switzerland.

The Musee de l’Elysee is one of the world’s leading museums entirely dedicated to photography. Since its establishment in 1985, it has improved public understanding of photography through innovative exhibitions, key publications and engaging events. Recognised as a centre of expertise in the field of conservation and enhancement of visual heritage, it holds a unique collection of more than 100,000 prints and preserves several photographic archives, in particular those of Ella Maillart, Nicolas Bouvier, Marcel Imsand, Charlie Chaplin and Rene Burri. Through this association with the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, upon the 150th anniversary of the ICRC, the Musee de l’Elysee is making the work of a remarkable photographer widely accessible, bringing forth the role of photography in the societal debate. By supporting young photographers, offering new perspectives on the masters and confronting photography with other art forms, the Musee de l’Elysee experiments with the image.




From: 15 Sep 2014
To: 4 Oct 2014


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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