Musée International
de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge

To Heal a World

160 years of photography from the collections of the Red Cross


Humanitarian images entered people’s daily lives over a century ago and are now a fixture in today’s news. Such images often convey a sense of immediacy and certainty, setting a scene that allows for only one interpretation. Viewers think they fully understand the event in question without considering what lies just outside the frame. But the reality on the ground is always more complex than its representation, which is by nature merely a fragment.

TO HEAL A WORLD presents, in a variety of ways, more than 600 images dating from 1850 to the present. They include both public images used to communicate about humanitarian crises and more confidential ones, once reserved for internal use.

The works were carefully selected over the course of two years from a highly diverse yet little-known corpus of photos: the collections of the MICR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). TO HEAL A WORLD was developed in association with the Rencontres d’Arles, an annual photography festival that will host the exhibition in 2022.


Head of project: Pascal Hufschmid, Executive Director at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Curator: Nathalie Herschdorfer


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