IOM’s ”Holding On” Exhibition Officially Launches Tomorrow

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will unveil its new exhibition ‘Holding On’ between 13:00 and 14:00 at the Palais des Nations on Friday (06/07). The exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (GP20) and features personal stories from displaced people.

‘Holding On’ exhibition showcases the stories of internally displaced people by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. The items that displaced people carry with them when they have to leave their homes often become physical representations of a world that has since disappeared. For many, they represent a promise of return. A key, a shirt or a photo can now serve both as a symbol of struggle and a beacon of hope.

Using virtual reality technology, attendees will be able to enter the “makeshift” homes and communities of internally displaced individuals to watch them share their story of displacement and the significance of the possession they are holding on to.

These stories of people displaced within the borders of their own countries, collected by IOM staff around the world, will serve to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons and celebrate their courage, tenacity and resilience of spirit, while ensuring that their voices are front and centre.

One example is the story of Hannatu Yusuf, a Nigerian woman who had to leave her home to escape the violence of Boko Haram. When she fled, she couldn’t take much with her and barely had any clothes to wear. Eventually she found a t-shirt that came to represent more in her life than just a simple item of clothing.

Hannatu Yusuf. Photo: IOM (2018)

“This t-shirt kept me safe,” said Hannatu. “It’s very valuable to me and I don’t want to lose it. When I pick it up, I remember the difficulties I faced, and tears fall from my eyes.’’

Event Details:

From 13.00–14.00, Friday 6 July, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) E-Building — 3rd floor Exhibition Gallery.

For more information, please contact Holding on Campaign: holdingoncampaign@iom.int