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Katharine Cooper in “Culture in Armed Conflict”, NATO HQ

January 5, 2023

At the Headquators of NATO in Brussels the photograph of Palmyra by South African photographer Katharine Cooper was selected in the impressive groupshow ‘Culture in Armed Conflict’. The exhibition shows the importance of the protection of cultural heritage in conflict and the vital role culture can play in reconciliation efforts. 

The exhibition was co-organised by the Dutch office of UNESCO and Landmacht.

What is special about the exhibition is the fact that it takes place at the highly secured NATO headquarters during a major international crisis. With this exhibition, the Unesco Commission focuses explicitly on military personnel. This target group has an important role in terms of heritage protection in crisis situations.

The exhibition contains images from Mali, Iraq, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, Egypt. Lebanon, Kosovo and Libya. Special attention is paid to Ukraine.

The exhibition is a continuation of the earlier photo exhibition ‘Culture under Attack’, which has been shown in different versions since 2014, in more than ten places worldwide. After the NATO headquarters, the photos will be on public display from February 15 to May 7 at the National Military Museum in Soest.

South African photographer Katharine Cooper (1978, Grahamstown, South Africa) is known for identifying with her subjects and works in the space between representation and expression, opposing the “objective” documentary photographer. In 2015 and 2016 Cooper made several journeys to Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. The photograph of Palmyra was taken in 2015, with the Qalat Ibn Maan Citadel on the hill in the background, Palmyra.



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