Art in Dialogue

Art in dialogue II • Geneva • Switzerland

Our first art project at HD centre (2013) had resulted in a more or less classical exhibition in the conference rooms of the villa, lending the somewhat blunt spaces a more subtle and creative atmosphere, while at the same time adressing such issues as the transition from experiencing something to communicating and documenting it, and the relation between communication through images and communication thorough words: issues which are also relevant in the mediation and negotiation processes in these conference rooms.


In their feedback the staff of HD centre had shown enthusiasm for some of the art works - welcoming them also into their less public office spaces. They also articulated an interest to receive a more profound insight into the artistic processes behind the works. This next project therefore tried to create more opportunities for meetings and discussions between the professional mediators and the artists. The resulting series of conversations also gave some artists the opportunity to gain some understanding in the principles of diplomatic mediation work. On its basis they formulated their project proposals and choose works from their oeuvre. Out of these proposals the team of HD Centre selected two artists:

Silvia Bächli (Basel/Karlsruhe) and

Lidwien van den Ven (Rotterdam/Berlin).

Silvia Bächli choose to exhibit several constellations of brush drawings and collages, often memory traces, which invite our awareness to include new sights, Lidwien van de Ven selected a number of large black and white photos, taken in the Middle East and presenting an alternative to the stereotype images depict the region in the media.


On the 20th of November 2014 the exhibition was opened with a public event in the presence of Geneva's mayor Sami Kanaan.

PDF of the invitation

Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre)

Silvia Bächli

Lidwien Van De Ven

We thank

the artist Christian Ratti for his inspiring ideas about the HD Centre, a private donor for her support and Thomas Heimann and Nic Bezemer for installing the exhibition.