To connect visitors with the powerful content, which concerns the often traumatic choices that are made every day by aid workers in conflict zones, IWM has taken the step of combining personal ‘in the field’ testimonies with scenario-based interactives.

This approach, it is hoped, will encourage visitors to engage with the Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire exhibition and think deeply about how they might respond to situations faced by workers.

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ICRC ‘Explosive Remnants of War’ warning sign from Iraq, 2019 © IWM

“By presenting the experiences of aid workers, many of whom are displaced themselves, alongside digital, scenario-based interactives, this exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to explore the choices they would make if faced with similar circumstances,” explained Amanda Mason, Imperial War Museum’s senior curator for contemporary conflict.

“Highlighting the very real consequences of decision making, we hope that the participatory nature of this exhibition reveals how ethically challenging it is to work with displaced people in conflict zones.”

The exhibition aims to highlight the practical, emotional and ethical challenges faced by aid workers on the front lines of conflict zones through the display of objects and photographs. Filmed interviews with aid workers, many of which have been sourced and recorded specially for this exhibition, will also be on show.

An ICRC mine warning sign, Syrian Red Crescent food parcel, a Médecins Sans Frontières Land Cruiser and an IKEA Better Shelter for refugees are among the items acquired or loaned for the exhibition.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire is part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place at IWM London and IWM North this year.

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