"From seeds of destruction to fields of recovery" exhibition
Anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) are a scourge of the modern world. Unlike bullets, which stop flying after a peace agreement is signed, landmines and ERW lie in the ground, primed and waiting to strike without distinction. In 2012, 18% of landmine/ERW victims were combatants, 4% were deminers and the rest, 78%, were civilians, almost half of whom were children – playing, herding livestock or collecting firewood. In the past decade, over 50,000 people have lost an arm, an eye, a leg or their lives to these weapons. The 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions – which ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions, respectively – have had a dramatic impact. Since the adoption of these treaties, the number of victims worldwide has declined sharply: from 26,000 landmine casualties and an unrecorded number of other ERW victims a year in the early ‘90s to 3,628 new landmine / ERW victims in 2012. This is extraordinary progress. Even so, the mission of these Conventions is not complete. Much land still remains to be cleared and many survivors are still suffering. During late 2013 and early 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross sent five photographers to five countries – Bosnia/Herzegovina, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique and Nicaragua –to document the human toll exacted by landmines, cluster munitions and other ERW. The images in this exhibition capture both the dedicated work of those involved in clearance operations and the anguish and resilience of survivors. The exhibit consists of 40 framed photos (about 75 x 50 cm) and their captions (27 x 20 cm, English only), transported in 4 boxes (about 200 kg).