18 August Exhition "Refugees: Real People, Real Needs" in Larnaca

In Larnaca, the exhibition will be hosted at the beginning of Finikoudes Promenade from 18 August until 3 September 2009. The Mayor of Larnaca and the Representative of UNHCR in Cyprus will open the exhibition on Tuesday 18 August at 8.00 p.m. at the place of the exhibition.

The exhibition consists mainly of a selection of the most powerful winning photos of World Press Photo (WPP) shedding light on the situations which create refugees. By putting a face behind the unknown masses of refugees, the exhibition attempts to foster understanding and empathy, to fight prejudices and wrongly built stereotypes about people who were forced to flee their homelands and they are in need of international protection.

Faced with unabated violence, terrible human rights and humanitarian law abuses in their homelands millions of people are left without any other option than to flee while those who stay behind have to die or live in constant fear of their lives. After embarking on perilous journeys in the sea or land, the challenge for those who make it into another country seeking protection is to start a new life, free from fear and oppression. Prejudices and negative stereotypes from the part of the hosting society will only exacerbate their plight. Receiving them as mere numbers, as a burden and at times as a threat cannot be the answer. Instead, giving them the opportunity to become part of the new society can only be beneficial for both refugees and the local society.

As financial times toughen, the hardest hit is on the most vulnerable groups, including refugees, who risk amongst other, higher levels of unreceptive attitudes. Now more than ever the need to inform and sensitize the public is present and calls for action. By putting a face behind the unknown masses of refugees, the exhibition will foster understanding and knowledge without which prejudices and wrongly built stereotypes will only get more enrooted.

The photos to be exhibited will mainly consist of a selection of the most impressive winning photos of World Press Photo (WPP) depicting situations which create refugees. WPP is an independent non-profit organization based in Amsterdam organizing the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.

Also, a small selection of photos from the photographic exhibition “Protection: What Refugees Need” - launched last June at the House of Parliament – will also be exhibited. Last year’s exhibition, consists of photos depicting people from all sectors of the society – known and unknown - making the “protecting hand” sign (symbolizing their commitment and support towards the worlds most vulnerable and at the same time making UNHCR’s logo widely known and synonymous with refugee protection) as well as photos of Internally Displaced Cypriots.

The exhibition, which has been shown in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, will run in Larnaca until 3rd September. This is your last chance to see it.

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