The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) launched its Photographic Exhibition and Film showcasing eight victims of terrorism from across the globe sharing intimate memories and personal meanings tied to physical objects they hold dear. The launch happened as the United Nations holds the High-Level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism in Malaga, Spain, from the 10-11 May 2022. The initiative has been created by the Victims of Terrorism Support Programme of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in an effort to shine a light on the experiences of victims of terrorism and to intricately weave these personal experiences into society’s collective history.
“The United Nations system has increased its focus on supporting victims of terrorism through conferences, events and multimedia products, including social media. A number of United Nations entities have also used multimedia, in particular documentaries, as an effective way to focus on and lift up victims’ voices,” said UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in his A/74/790 General Assembly report (8 April 2020). "In the past few years, important and specific steps have been taken by the international community to uphold the rights of victims. I am grateful for the indispensable backing of Member States for United Nations actions to focus on victims as key in all our efforts to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism.” he added.
The Exhibition “Memories”, through film and photography, highlights stories of these physical objects and shares the memories and emotions that they represent to the owners, who are themselves victims of terrorism. It is a simple but powerful way for audiences to relate to the victims; to feel their loss and to better understand the importance of remembering and paying tribute to victims of terrorism and, ultimately, of preventing the creation of new victims. The hope is that by “re-humanizing” victims of terrorism through this Exhibition, society as a whole will change its mindset and behaviour towards them.
The Exhibition/event marks one of the Victims of Terrorism Support Programme’s efforts and calls to action to uphold victim’s rights this year. Other initiatives include the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, which will take place on August 21, and the Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, scheduled to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York in September.
The photographs will be on display from 10-11 May, 2022 at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Malaga, in Malaga, Spain.
To learn more about the Exhibition and the victims, please click here.