The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, known as the IFRC, has a long and significant history of work all around the world. Their headquarters is based in Geneva where a museum, depicting their efforts towards humanitarian causes, has been established. The Red Cross Museum offers a particularly unique insight into the world, its conflicts and challenges - all from the viewpoint of their effects on humanity as we understand it to be. |
More than History
Although founded in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, the IFRC did not find a home in Geneva until 1939, taking advantage of Switzerland’s neutrality during the onset of World War II. The founding members included France, Italy, Britain, Japan and the United States. Their goal was to "to strengthen and unite, for health activities, already-existing Red Cross Societies and to promote the creation of new Societies" in the countries that suffered in the aftermath of World War I. Today there are 189 recognized National Societies around the world.
The Visual Depiction
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum itself is truly fascinating, with permanent and temporary exhibitions. Recently, the museum was awarded ‘The European Museum of the Year’ award noted for “the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society”. The permanent exhibition, which addresses three major topics, was designed by three separate artists, all from very different cultural backgrounds.
The Humanitarian Adventure
The permanent exhibition at the museum is quite unique. Broken down into three sections, each one addresses major challenges faced by the world today: Defending Human Dignity, Restoring Family Links and Reducing Natural Risks.
Defending Human Dignity, designed by Gringo Cardia, focuses on the need for respect for life and individuals as a whole.
Restoring Family Links, designed by Diebedo Francis Kere, explores the connections between humans’ social links and the effects of losing them. The need for stability is more important than ever especially during times of crisis.
Reducing Natural Risks, designed by Shigeru Ban, looks at humanity’s continued fight against inevitable natural occurrences that endanger it. This section also addresses how people and communities band together in the face of disasters to help each other, save lives and protect resources.
More than Just an Attraction
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum is more than just a holiday attraction. The exhibitions are a testament to both the best and the worst of the human experience. The goals of the societies, and the museum itself, are, in the words of the Director, Roger Mayou, “The personal commitment, the shared resilience and the force of the collective action of those witnesses motivate us to fight for a fairer world, like Henry Dunant and those who work in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. To refuse to accept the inacceptable.”
Accessing the Museum
Geneva’s compact size makes all of its sites and scenes hugely accessible. Direct flights from all of the major UK airports last under 2 hours. After arriving at Geneva airport, pre-arranged transfers can take you directly to your accommodation, making the ‘active travelling’ part a breeze. Once you are in Geneva, the true experience of the city can begin.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Geneva airport transfers, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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