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UNICEF launches photo exhibition dedicated to children of Darfur

© UNICEF/2005/Toutounji
Photographer Ron Haviv, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, and UNICEF’s Representative to Darfur, Keith McKenzie, opened the exhibition of photographs of the children of Darfur which can be viewed at the UN Visitor’s Center through October.

By Gordon Weiss

NEW YORK, 29 September 2005 – Diplomats, photographers, art collectors and others concerned about the world’s children gathered last night at United Nations Headquarters for the opening of an exhibition of 40 photographs taken in Sudan’s West Darfur province by world-renowned photographer Ron Haviv, who traveled to the area with UNICEF.

The exhibition was opened by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and UNICEF’s Representative to Darfur, Keith McKenzie. The opening included a charity auction of photographs donated by some of the world’s leading photographers that helped raise thousands of dollars, which will go directly to the children of Darfur.

A founder of the elite VII photo agency, Haviv captured haunting images of daily life among the children of this desert region, who have endured more than two years of brutal civil conflict.

Haviv’s photos depict the hardships Darfur’s children face, but also their resiliency. Samora Machel, the late president of Mozambique, once described the children of his war-torn country as “flowers that never wither.”

© UNICEF/2005/Toutounji
Guests view photographs of the children of Darfur by renowned photographer Ron Haviv. A charity auction of photographs also raised money for the children of this region.

Most of the children in Haviv’s photos have been forced to flee from their villages into the windswept desert after their homes had been torched and turned to ash, which now blows across the arid landscape.

Daily lawlessness and the occasional large-scale attack still occur in Darfur, but the greatest challenge may lie ahead. Fields once tilled now lie fallow. Trade and commerce have ground to a halt. Even with peace at hand, the greater challenge will perhaps be hunger.

Photography is one of the few ways of bringing such stories to distant hearths. Photojournalist Ron Haviv was asked by UNICEF to travel to Darfur last June to try and capture the daily life of children. Haviv’s images are being shown at the Visitor’s Lobby at the United Nations in New York through the end of October.

Stephenie Hollyman contributed to this story. 



Related links

Darfur: Region In Crisis

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