INMP Newsletter No. 29 December 2019
Exhibition at UN Museum Geneva:
100 Years of Multilateralism in Geneva
Following the end of World War I, the League of Nations was established in 1919, taking its seat in Geneva in 1920. In the hundred years since then, the city has seen the creation of many other international agencies and organizations, and numerous international conferences have been held here and agreements signed. This is documented in the exhibition, 100 Years of Multilateralism in Geneva at the UN Museum Geneva (in the Library Building of the Palais des Nations, since 1946 the European office of the UN). The centenary opened on 24th April 2019 (International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace) and will conclude on 15th November 2020 (anniversary of the First Assembly of the League). A gallery of images (each of which can be enlarged) of photographs, documents, books, letters, posters, etc. on display in the exhibition can be seen here.
At the same time, Geneva is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020. To mark the anniversary, the UN is launching the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want. For a short (five minute) video, including an invitation by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to participate in this conversation, click here.
International Network of Museums for Peace
A second, related exhibition, is shown in the Martin Bodmer Foundation, entitled War and Peace, from 5th October 2019 until 1st March 2020. The exhibition aims to help visitors understand the eternal dialogue between humanity’s belligerency and its profound desire for peace. The display is constructed around three themes: the genesis of war, the destruction caused by war, and the desire for peace. The narratives and documents presented are drawn from the arts, literature, religion, philosophy, and law and politics. The Foundation comprises a museum on the history of civilization since the invention of writing, and a famous library of precious books and manuscripts from around the world.
The third exhibition, Pages – 150 years of the International Review of the Red Cross, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest publication (founded in 1869) devoted to international humanitarian law, policy, and action. Opened on 30th October 2019 and closing on 30th April 2020, the exhibition is at Humanitarium, a venue of the International Committee of the Red Cross for dialogue and events. Pages highlight the role of the Review in disseminating progress in international law related to armed conflict and innovation in humanitarian response over the past 150 years. Visitors are invited to delve into the more than 110,000 pages that form the rich history of the journal. For an overview of all three exhibitions, go here, here, and here.
For a calendar of events, click here. One of the events is the launching, on 1st March 2020, of the restored Celestial Sphere. This beautiful artwork (by US artist Paul H. Manship) has adorned the park of the Palais des Nations since its unveiling in 1939 and since 1946 has been an emblem of the UN in Geneva. For more information, go here. (Also see below for The Humanitarian Trail in Geneva).
from all over the world in an exhibition titled Posters unpacked. The Museum has been collecting posters since its opening in 1988 and today possesses more than 10,000. They date from 1866, three years after the Red Cross was founded, to the present. Many have been acquired from or donated by, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The posters were designed to convey a wide range of messages to the public such as appeals for blood donation, disease prevention, emergency response to natural disaster or war, encourage proper hygiene, first-aid training, fundraising, volunteer recruitment. Some serve as calls to action, while others warn of danger, provide information, or promote the humanitarian cause. The temporary exhibition was opened on 2nd October 2019 and will last until 26th January 2020.
Posters: The Collection of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (published by Silvana Editoriale in Cinisello Balsamo/Milan). For more information, go here and here.
On the occasion of the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, held in Geneva from 9th until 12th December, an excellent and beautifully illustrated 29-page Humanitarian Trail in Geneva has been developed. The trail is like
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva is presenting a selection from its rich collection of posters an open-space museum featuring walking routes to landmarks that are rich in history. One trail, The Humanitarian Legacy, covers 14 landmarks in the old town, on the left bank of the lake. A second trail, The Humanitarian Journey, covers 5 landmarks in the international quarter of the city, on the right bank of the lake. The trail was offered from 4th until 12th December when, along the way, videos could be watched at various stops, and an interactive digital map was accessible via mobile and tablet to use as a complement to, or instead of, the brochure. The latter is likely to remain available from the tourist office and other institutions in the city. You can download the program here, and find further information (as well as a map) on the Conference website at this link.
The Scottish-American steel tycoon, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), was once the richest man in the world. Today, he is regarded as the father of modern philanthropy (who has inspired Bill Gates). As a peace philanthropist, he remains without peer. The son of a weaver, he was born in a small
cottage in Dunfermline (a town north of Edinburgh). The prospect of a better life brought the family to Pennsylvania in 1848. Carnegie became a very successful entrepreneur; in 1901 he sold Carnegie Steel, the largest steel company in the world, for $ 480 million (over $ 14 billion today) and became the world’s richest man. Famously saying, ‘The man who dies rich, dies disgraced’, he spent the rest of his life-giving away 90% of his fortune. A considerable part he used for promoting world peace. Already as a youth, Andrew Carnegie regarded himself as a pacifist and internationalist. In the years before 1914, he endowed four trusts or foundations and financed the building of three ‘temples of peace’, including the Peace Palace in The Hague. They were a tangible expression of his firm belief in arbitration and international law as the best means to abolish war, which he called ‘the foulest blot upon our civilization’.
The original birthplace cottage where Andrew Carnegie was born (and where the family lived in one small room) was built in the 1770s and has been restored to look as it would have done during his childhood in the 1840s.
Opened to the public in 1908, it tells the family’s story prior to their emigration to the US. A fuller story, with many precious and original artefacts, is told in the adjoining Memorial Hall. Its construction was suggested after Carnegie’s death in 1919 by Louise Carnegie, his widow; she endowed
Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline, Scotland
the Hall which was inaugurated in 1928. It charts the meteoric business career of her husband and documents his stupendous philanthropy. The latter includes the financing of museums, concert halls, universities, and 2,800 public libraries (the first of which was opened in his native town in 1883). Many of the displays and artefacts in the Hall reflect his hatred of war, and passion for peace, making this a peace museum in all but name.
For more information, click here; a virtual visit to the museum can be seen here. Also go here. Several interesting articles about Carnegie and the Peace Palace are in the Winter 2019 issue of the Carnegie Reporter, published by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The issue can be freely downloaded at this link.
For earlier articles about Andrew Carnegie and the centenary celebrations of the Peace Palace, and INMP’s contributions, see INMP Newsletter No. 5, May 2013, pp. 1, 3-4 & No. 6, November 2013, pp. 4-5.
Waxwork of Andrew Carnegie on display in the Museum in Dunfermline, Scotland
A new exhibition, Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words, was opened in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on 5th
December. It will be shown until August 2020. The African American woman is best known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955. Her arrest and brief imprisonment sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted for 381 days and ended with a ruling by the US Supreme Court in her favor. Contrary to popular belief, her defiant but calm demeanor when she refused to follow the bus driver’s instructions hid a militant spirit that had been forged over decades. She had been involved in the struggle for social justice and human rights since the 1930s. The exhibition shows rarely seen letters, documents, and photographs that offer an intimate portrait of Rosa Parks from her early life and activism until her later years when she had become the much-admired mother of the modern civil rights movement. A 7-minute video of an interview with Adrienne Cannon, the exhibition’s curator, and Carla D. Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, can be seen here.
New Exhibition at the Library of Congress
The display materials are largely drawn from the Rosa Parks Collection in the Library of Congress. The Collection covers 140 years of family history and comprises ca. 10,000 items. For more information about the Collection, go here. Many exhibition items can be seen at this link. Follow this link for an extensive list of resources. For an article about the exhibition, click here.
Rosa Parks Exhibition at US Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Accompanying the exhibition is a new biography of Rosa Parks, based on her private manuscripts and handwritten letters and notes which include her detailed descriptions of her arrest, of the segregated South, and her recollections of childhood resistance to white supremacy. The book features 100 photographs from the Rosa Parks Collection, many appearing in print for the first time. Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words was written by Susan Reyburn, a senior writer-editor in the Library of Congress Publishing Office and published by the University of Georgia Press.
This newsletter reported earlier about the reconstruction in Berlin of Rosa Parks’s modest home in Detroit, thus saving it from destruction (see articles in No. 17, December 2016, pp. 3-4 & No. 19, June 2017, pp. 6-7). It has since returned to the US and currently lies disassembled in a storage facility in upstate New York. For more information, click here.
Cover of a new biography by Susan Reyburn
Dayton International Peace Museum
A new, permanent exhibition about the Dayton Peace Accords was opened in the Dayton International Peace Museum on 1st November, on the 24th anniversary of the
talks in Dayton (Ohio) that effectively ended the war in Bosnia. The 1992-1995 war in the former Yugoslavia was the first since World War II to be formally judged as genocidal in character; many of the participants were charged with war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague (1993-2017). In November 1995 the world community, led by the US, brought the leaders of the three warring nations to the table in Dayton for weeks of conflict resolution. They resulted in the Dayton Peace Accords that were signed at the end of 1995. The exhibit explores four interactive kiosks – through stories, videos, photographs, music and educational maps – the tragedy of war and the difficult path to achieving peace and reconciliation. Go here for more information.
Readers may be interested in the history of the 19th-century mansion that since 2005 has been the beautiful home of the Dayton International Peace Museum. The Isaac Pollack House was constructed after the US Civil War; in 1974 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, which helped to save it from demolition. Five years later, in 1979, the building was moved to its present location. The full story can be read here.
New Permanent Exhibition at Dayton International Peace
Mark Rogovin (1946-2019), Co-founder of the Chicago Peace Museum
Mark Rogovin, who co-founded the Chicago Peace Museum together with Marjorie Craig Benton (former US representative to UNICEF) died on 30th September in the city where he had been a resident for more than half a century. He was director of the museum (which opened in 1981) for four years and helped create some of its most successful exhibitions such as Unforgettable Fire (drawings and paintings by Hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and Give Peace a Chance (about music and movements protesting the war in Vietnam), the latter with the support of Yoko Ono. Later, in 1997- 1998, he helped organize a nationwide movement to celebrate the centennial of the great actor, singer, peace activist and civil rights campaigner, Paul Robeson and with Joe Powers co-authored the publication, Paul Robeson: Rediscovered (2000).
A recent photo of Mark Rogovin with fellow artist and longtime friend Peggy Lipschutz who died (aged 100), a few days before Rogovin (photo credit: Michelle Melin-Rogovin)
Throughout his life, Rogovin was active in local, national and international campaigns and movements for social justice, civil rights, and peace – including the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and for the freedom of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners such as Angela Davis in the US. As a professional and talented artist, he produced political buttons and banners for the numerous progressive campaigns he initiated or supported. Rogovin was the founder and director of the Public Art Workshop in the 1970s which promoted public art. His interest in this, especially outdoor murals, had been stimulated by his work in 1968 in Mexico City where he assisted the famous Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros with the latter’s final mural, The March of Humanity on Earth and Towards the Cosmos (completed in 1971).
Appreciative obituaries were published in several newspapers and journals, e.g., People’s World; Portside; Forest Park Review; Zimmerman-Harnett.
An extensive and most interesting interview with Mark Rogevin in which he also explains the origins of the Chicago Peace Museum can be found at this link. See also the article ‘Origins of the Chicago Peace Museum’ in Newsletter No. 22, March 2018, pp. 4-5.
A wonderful, six-minute documentary video about the life and work of Peggy Lipschutz (see photo) made when she was 96 years old, can be seen here. Throughout her life, and as an artist, her main concerns were ‘justice, equality, and peace’.
‘Peace Mural’, by Mark Rogovin and Public Art Workshop, at Columbia College, Chicago,1981
The exhibition about Japanese American A-bomb Victims at Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles
An exhibition featuring Japanese Americans who were in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in August 1945 when the atomic bombs were dropped was opened on 9th November in the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles. Titled Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Atomic Bomb, the exhibition marks the upcoming 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings and is organised in partnership with the two Japanese cities; it will run until 7th June. It includes 30 photograph panels on loan from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and, until 1st March, a special display of 20 artifacts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki belonging to atomic bomb victims. Also on display is the paper crane that was folded by President Barack Obama when he visited Hiroshima in 2016, the first sitting US President to do so (see illustration).
JANM has supplemented the exhibition with panels and photographs focusing on Japanese Americans who were caught in the bombing, especially in Hiroshima.
Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles
Before World War II, it was common for immigrant Issei parents (1st generation immigrants to America, born in Japan) to send their Nisei children (born in America) to Japan for education. It is estimated that some 15,000 Japanese Americans were living in Japan in 1945. Because a large number of Japanese immigrants came from Hiroshima,
many children were sent there to live with relatives and experienced the atomic bombing. It is estimated that at the time some 3,200 Japanese Americans were living in the city. Those that survived and were able to return to the US faced on-going health issues that were unfamiliar to the American medical community.
At the opening event, second and third-generation Japanese American Hibakusha described their experiences and expressed the hope that the exhibition would teach the young generation the horrors of the atomic bombing. On 18th January, JANM will be hosting a day-long film festival when three world-acclaimed films about the atomic bombings will be screened. This is the first time that the museum is showing an exhibition on the atomic bomb. Inaugurated in 1992, the museum documents Japanese American history, including their incarceration in internment camps in the US during the Pacific War. For more information about the exhibition, go here; as well as here and here. For more information about the museum, click here.
Paper crane folded by President Barack Obama
Exhibition About Nuclear Weapons Abolition in Kazakhstan
The traveling exhibition, Everything You Treasure – For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons, was shown 1st – 13th October in the presidential library in Nur-Sultan city (previously Astana), the capital of Kazakhstan. The exhibition of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) was co-sponsored by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the library. The exhibition was first shown in Hiroshima in 2012 and has since been seen in 90 cities in 20 countries. Kazakhstan was the 21st country to host it.
Opening ceremony – ribbon cutting to the exhibition (photo credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri/IDN-INPS)
The exhibition (shown for the first time in Russian) marked the 30th anniversary of the end of nuclear weapons testing in Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan), the primary testing site for the Soviet Union. Over a period of four decades, an estimated 1,5 million of its people suffered the effects of the testing of 456 nuclear weapons. This year also marked the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia; also in 2019, Kazakhstan – known for its commitment to ridding the world of nuclear weapons – became the 26th country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. One of the speakers at the opening ceremony was Japanese ambassador,
Tatsuhiko Kasai, who recalled the experiences of his grandmother who was affected by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Another speaker was Hirotsugu Terasaki, Director General of Peace and Global Issues of SGI.
A major role in the closing down of the infamous Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in 1991 was played by the international anti-nuclear weapons movement ‘Nevada- Semipalatinsk’, founded in 1989 by the Kazakh poet and activist Olzhas Suleimenov. This was the first such movement to emerge in any of the countries of the former Soviet Union.
The SGI delegation visited several centers and museums related to nuclear tests and their consequences such as the Museum at the National Nuclear Centre at Kurchatov, the Nuclear Medicine Cancer Centre, and the Anatomical Museum in Semey (until 2007 known as Semipalatinsk). The latter documents the devastating effects on health as a result of radioactive fallout. For more information, visit this link. The Japanese version can be read here.
The first showing of SGI/ICAN exhibition in Central Asia (photo credit: The Seikyo Shimbun)
By Keisuke Okamura, Deputy Director
‘Requesting peace is absolute and we resolve the construction of Grassroots House’ was