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Photo exhibition by internationally acclaimed artists shows refugees in a new light - UNHCR collaborates with Annenberg Foundation

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Photo exhibition by internationally acclaimed artists shows refugees in a new light - UNHCR collaborates with Annenberg Foundation

22 March 2016 Also available in:

Geneva, 22 March, 2016 - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today the creation of a unique and powerful photo exhibit, REFUGEE, which illustrates the growing forced displacement crisis through the lens of some of the world's most renowned photographers. UNHCR provided logistical support and collaborated with the Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles, United States, on the exhibit which will open at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles on April 23 and run until August 21, 2016. With newly commissioned work by internationally acclaimed photographers Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller and Tom Stoddart, REFUGEE will show the daily lives of refugees around the world in a new light.

The compelling images will give visitors to the exhibition insights into the plight of refugees, including their efforts to survive, their needs, their dreams and their hopes for a better future. "This remarkable initiative is very timely, coming as violence and human rights abuses uproot people around the world at an unprecedented pace," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. "The photographs in this exhibit portray their courage, resilience and strength. They show that this is not an anonymous movement; these are ordinary people, who have been forced to flee."

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario highlights the situation of displaced people living in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Omar Victor Diop's work shows refugees from the Central African Republic in Cameroon while Graciela Iturbide will highlight Central American youth seeking protection in Mexico. Martin Schoeller, well-known for his close-up portraits of politicians and celebrities, has turned his lens on resettled refugees in the USA. Tom Stoddart focuses on men, women and children on the move in Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Germany.

REFUGEE will also show the world from the perspective of some of those forced to flee. For this, displaced youth in Colombia took part in a photo camp organized by Vision Workshops. Through photography and writing, they documented their daily lives as displaced people within their own country. UNHCR, as part of its collaboration with the Annenberg Foundation, facilitated contacts with displaced communities and supported the photographers with background information.

REFUGEE will also feature a documentary, produced by Tiger Nest Films and showing the photographers working on location for the exhibition.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works worldwide to protect, assist and find solutions for refugees, internally displaced people and stateless populations. It has some 9,700 staff across 126 countries, many of them working in humanitarian emergencies and in close proximity to regions of conflict.

About the Annenberg Space for Photography

The Annenberg Space for Photography's intimate environment features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by both world-renowned and emerging photographers. The Photography Space conveys a range of human experiences and serves as an expression of the philanthropic work of the Annenberg Foundation and its directors.

About the Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the US and globally. Since 1989, it has funded programmes in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation and its Directors are directly involved in the community with innovative projects, including the Annenberg Space for Photography, that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today.

Press photos (free to use if exhibition is announced) can be downloaded here:

Media contacts:

UNHCR: Roland Schönbauer in Geneva: +43 699 1459 7006, [email protected]

Annenberg Foundation: Camille Lowry in Los Angeles, +1 310 209 4568, [email protected]

FITZ & CO: Jeff Murcko, [email protected]