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Museum Presents Nighttime Exhibition of Photos from Central African Republic during FotoWeekDC 2014

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WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will project building-size images onto its exterior in the special exhibition Our Walls Bear Witness: Crisis in Central African Republic to draw attention to the country’s violent conflict and the lives at stake. The exhibition will run nightly, November 10 to 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., as part of FotoWeekDC.  

The exhibition features photos taken by Michael Christopher Brown, who, with support from the Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, traveled to Central African Republic (CAR) with reporter Graeme Wood in March 2014 for the New Republic. Brown returned with starkly powerful images of the effects that group-targeted violence is having on CAR’s civilians.  

The Museum will launch the exhibition on November 10 with a public program at 6:30 p.m. featuring an expert-panel discussion on what is driving the crisis in CAR and what can be done to end it. The program will be moderated by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson and will feature Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State; Louisa Lombard, assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University; and Graeme Wood, contributing editor to the Atlantic and New Republic.  

Since 2012, Central African Republic has experienced widespread instability punctuated by waves of violence against civilians. In the past year the violence has taken on a sectarian character as a number of armed factions have attacked civilians based on their religious identity, killing untold thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands more. Despite attempts to stop the violence, the security situation remains dire, the humanitarian crisis is worsening by the day, and the risk of further mass atrocities is high.  

“As a living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, this institution has always taken seriously its mandate to alert the national conscience when new genocides are threatened,” says Cameron Hudson, director of the Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “The dire situation for innocent civilians in Central African Republic was preventable, but it must not now be forgotten.”  

This year marks the fourth time the Museum has used its outside walls to bear witness to countries and populations under threat of genocide. Previous displays focused on the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2006, the instability of South Sudan on the brink of independence in 2010, and the plight of Burma’s Muslim-minority Rohingya population in 2013. During the inaugural FotoWeekDC in 2008, the Museum projected photos of Holocaust survivors onto its exterior walls in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The CAR exhibition and opening program are both free. Registration is required for the opening program; register today.  

The exhibition is produced by the Museum in association with FotoWeekDC 2014. The opening program is made possible by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.  

To learn more, follow the hashtags #wallsbearwitness and #CARcrisis on Twitter and Instagram and visit the Museum’s website.  

About the Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit

Center for the Prevention of Genocide About Central African Republic