The Musée Internationale de la Croix Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (MICR) (the Red Cross/Red Crescent Museum) has re-opened its doors after 22 months of renovation and it wasn’t long after that the women of the International Women’s Club of Geneva scheduled a visit.
Members were enthusiastic about the newly refurbished museum which houses documents, photos, films and state-of-the-art interactive exhibits chronicling the history of this important Geneva-based humanitarian organization.
This particular tour was led by one of AIWC’s own members, Laurie Marx. Laurie recently completed her training (in French) as a museum guide and is now qualified to lead English-speaking visitors throughout the museum. The group and was warmly welcomed by Mr. Roger Mayou, Director of the museum.
The permanent exhibition now called The Humanitarian Adventure, focuses on three main topics, each designed by an architect from a different part of the world and cultural background;
“Defending Human Dignity” designed by Brazilian architect Gringo Cardia, “Restoring Family Links” by Diébédo Francis Kéré from Burkina Faso, and “Reducing Natural Risks” by Shigeru Ban from Japan.
As visitors move through the three areas and observes the collections of photos and documents, films and interactive displays, they are also being moved emotionally, from feelings of suffering and loss, to feelings of healing, re-unification and normalcy, and ultimately… to restoration and happiness.
Several new highlights include an area called ‘on the spot’ (designed by atelier Oi) which is home to an imposing luminous globe showing all the areas where the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is present. From computers positioned around the globe, visitors can learn about the ICRC’s activities in the field. Screens on the walls display 150 years of history, since the founding of the Red Cross in 1863 by Henry Dunant.
In a theatre within the “Reducing Natural Risks” area, one can view some new film montages by Geneva University of Art and Design film students Angeli Ricci Lucchi and Giovanni Gianikian. These montages were produced, using the more than 1,000 archived films in the museum’s collection.
At the end of the tour, the words “towards a museum of hope” are displayed to leave the visitor with not just a sense of hope but of gratitude to all those who have worked and still work within the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements.
The group would like to thank Laurie and Mr. Eric Johnson from the museum staff who took the group photo!
For those who have not been to the museum recently, it is definitely worth a re-visit.
Photos used with permission, courtesy of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Museum.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/