Documentary photography exhibition «Migration — The future in retrospect» presented in Bern


The International Organization for Migration in Switzerland and Liechtenstein is hosting a documentary photography exhibition to mark the 30th anniversary of IOM.

The exhibition «Migration — Die Zukunet im Ruckblick» presents a selection of historically significant works on migration processes since 1994. It features the works of the famous Maltese photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi. 

The artist works in the genre of documentary photography and has been documenting various international events for a long time: the migration crisis in the Mediterranean region, the aftermath of an earthquake, disasters, conflicts, etc. 

Darrin has received numerous awards and international honors. His work for Reuters has been published in newspapers, magazines, books and online resources around the world, as well as in such publications as TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Paris Match, Der Spiegel and others. 

The anniversary exhibition was opened by Berta Fernandey-Alfaro, Chief of Mission at IOM Switzerland.

«We believe it is necessary to bring light to individual migrant stories to show them not as victims of fate but as human beings with agency who take decisions and have regrets, as well as with the courage to confront their fears and overcome obstacles» she said.

Nicolas Kerskieck, curator of the exhibition, noted that migration patterns are becoming increasingly complex. Due to limited migration routes, violence, exploitation, and abuse are spreading. However, for centuries, migration has contributed to development, prosperity and progress. Now, given the effects of global change, we are moving away from this.

Christine Schraner Burgener, State Secretary, State Secretariat for Migration, also spoke at the opening of the exhibition.  In January 2022, she became the first female Secretary of State of the SEM. Under her leadership, in 2022, Ukrainian citizens were granted temporary protection due to the war, a statute applied in Switzerland for the first time.

«We are delighted that the IOM office in Bern is still an important part of Swiss migration policy after 30 years and would like to take this opportunity to thank all current and former employees for their hard work and excellent collaboration» said Christine.

During the presentation of the exhibition, Darrin Zammit Lupi said that in addition to documenting the events, he tries to convey the aesthetics of the scene. Each photo, despite the dramatic nature of the event, should convey aesthetics and attract the viewer's attention. «The viewer has to keep looking at the photo» said the photographer.

The exhibition features more than 20 large format works, including those taken in Ukraine during the full-scale war. 

The work chosen for the event's poster tells the story of an exhausted migrant woman who was rescued by the Maltese Navy with her two-year-old son in 2012.

The exhibition Migration - Die Zukunet im Ruckblick is open to the public until 17 March 2024 at the Kornhausforum Galerie, 2. Bern.

Opening hours:

Tue-Fri 10:00 to 19:00

Sat 10:00 to 17:00

Later, the exhibition will be presented in Lugano.


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