Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire

2 Oct 2020 – 31 May 2021

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Around the world aid organisations are working to support, care for and protect vulnerable people, forced to flee their homes because of conflict.


Faced with practical, emotional and ethical challenges on a daily basis, how do aid workers choose who to help and decide which risks to take, and can their presence do more harm than good?

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire brings together powerful stories from conflict zones to explore these challenges from an insider perspective.

Understand the global story from interviews of individual experiences in the field, displayed alongside photographs and unique objects – recorded and sourced specially for this exhibition. On your visit you’ll encounter a Médecins Sans Frontières Land Cruiser, an iconic vehicle associated with aid work, and the IKEA Better Shelter, an innovative shelter designed for refugees. See aid workers’ personal belongings and equipment which give an insight into the conditions they face, and the mental and physical trials of working in the field.

The exhibition reveals the dilemmas encountered while operating in areas including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from which over 17.5 million people have collectively fled due to recent conflict*.

Through combining personal ‘in the field’ testimonies and scenario-based interactives, you can put yourself in the shoes of an aid worker and consider how you might respond to complicated decisions about the reach of aid, funding, responsibility and risk.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire is part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, new artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North in 2020. Unlocking the personal stories of people who have been forced to flee their homes and those who work to support and care for them, Refugees gives us the space to consider our own responses to similar experiences and dilemmas.

* Statistic sourced from UNHRC’s Global Trends, Forced Displacement in 2018 report and UNHRC’s Global Appeal 2018 - 2019.


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