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Opening Night: War in Cities Exhibition

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Event description

This is a free, public event.
Join the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for drinks, a short panel, and exhibition viewing to open the ‘War in Cities’ exhibition.

‘War in Cities' is an exhibition that explores the devastating impact on civilians when wars are fought in urban landscapes and the humanitarian responses.

Opening night

To officially open the exhibition, an expert panel will discuss war in cities, and the direct and indirect humanitarian impacts on communities, diaspora and the global community.


  • Dr Nematullah Bizhan, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Development Policy Centre, Australian National University, and a Senior Research Associate at Oxford University
  • Marwa Charmand, Western Sydney Artist whose work depicting people and communities affected by conflict join the exhibition
  • Beth Delaney,  Humanitarian Coordinator, First Assistant Secretary, Humanitarian Division, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
  • David Tuck, ICRC Head of Mission in Australia 

This is a free, public event, however we ask that you please register.

Drinks will be provided.

When: Wednesday 31 May, 6PM - 8PM

Where: F Block Hall, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, ACT

About the exhibition

The exhibition connects audiences with stories from war in cities, displaying audiovisual material and objects collected by ICRC colleagues in Iraq in 2017. The objects were collected from areas staff visited just after the fighting had stopped, as they brought relief or family news to survivors. It took a few trips to identify, photograph and collect these items from the destroyed cities of Baiji and Ramadi. With the authorisation of their owners or the local community, these objects were collected from destroyed buildings, from the streets and from a school left in ruins.

Objects collected from battlefields, historical and contemporary audiovisual materials from the ICRC tell a story about the staggering toll of urban warfare on people, the humanitarian needs that arise, and people's resilience.

'War in Cities' will be showing at F Block Hall, Gorman Arts Centre from 31 May 2023 - 6 June 2023. 

Entry to the exhibition is free. See full exhibition dates and opening times here.


Dr Nematullah Bizhan

Nematullah Bizhan is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and a Senior Research Associate at the Global Economic Governance Program, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. He previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government (2017-8), an Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at University College, Oxford Un iversity (2015-6), and the Niehaus Centre for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University (2014-5). Nematullah's research focuses on public policy, international development, political economy, state building, legitimacy, and post-conflict reconstruction, with a special emphasis on state fragility.

Previously, Nematullah served in Afghanistan as deputy youth minister, director-general of policy and monitoring and evaluation at the Ministry of Economy, head of the secretariat for the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, and director-general of national budget at the Finance Ministry, contributed to development programs and reforms that helped Afghanistan recover from the aftermath of the 2001 conflict. He holds a PhD from the Australian National University, Canberra, an MA from Williams College, Massachusetts, and an MD from Abne Sina Balkh Medical Faculty.

Marwa Charmand

Marwa Charmand is a Western Sydney visual artist, graphic designer, and teacher. For over a decade she has dedicated her artist career to focusing on communities affected by war. She aims to bring the impacts of urban warfare right to the doorstep of audiences who are geographically removed from conflict, many of whom have never experienced it.

Focusing on the impacts of conflict not only inspires her to create but inspires her to pay homage to her own family affected by warfare and the resilience they have shown over the years. Through drawing and painting Marwa highlights regions that she considers to be neglected and forgotten, hoping to create awareness and shift attitudes on the devastating impacts of urban war.

Marwa has exhibited in numerous galleries across Australia including Casula Powerhouse, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Islamic Museum of Australia and Logan Art Gallery. In 2017, she was one of six artists selected across Australia to participate in the Vivid Ideas Cause & Effect exhibition.

Beth Delaney

Ms Delaney is Australia’s Humanitarian Coordinator and leads the Humanitarian Division of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Division plans, oversees and implements Australia’s $500m commitment to meeting growing global humanitarian needs, as well as manages a range of important partnerships with international and domestic organisations.  Beth is also DFAT’s Preventing Sexual Exploitation Abuse and Harassment Champion.   

Ms Delaney has worked for the Australian Government since 1996 and brings extensive multilateral and development policy experience. Ms Delaney’s previous roles include leading DFAT’s Program Enabling Division (2019 – 2022), the Pacific Regional Economic engagement team (2018 – 2019) and the Development Economics, Private Sector and Agriculture team (2017-2018).  Beth has been a trusted adviser to Australia’s Director at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (2016-2017), the Executive Director at the World Bank (2010-2013) and the Australian Foreign Minister (2002-2003). She has undertaken overseas assignments in Beijing, Bougainville and Washington DC and holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons.), an ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Tuck

David holds a LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) and Bachelor of Asian Studies (specialist in Hindi) from the Australian National University.  David has worked with the ICRC since 2006, first as a Pashtu Interpreter and Protection Delegate in Afghanistan. From 2011, he has been Legal Adviser to the ICRC’s Operations in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and for the Middle East. Between 2018 and 2020, David was the ICRC’s Regional Legal Adviser for the East and Horn of Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently ICRC Head of Mission in Canberra. As the Head of Mission, David leads a team that works closely with government, military, diplomatic and academic stakeholders to foster support for the ICRC’s global operations and to promote international humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Follow David’s work on Twitter at @DETuckICRC.

About the ICRC

The ICRC works in over 100 countries, helping people affected by armed conflict and other violence, and promoting humanitarian law. As a neutral, impartial, independent organisation, its exclusively humanitarian mission leads the ICRC to do everything it can to protect the lives, dignity, and relieve the suffering of people impacted by armed conflict and violence, often with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.

The organisation also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

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