Understanding medical humanitarianism: A 10 day festival

Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) India in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Delhi (AFD) is hosting a 10 day MSF Festival from August 27 to September 5, 2014. The festival will include a photo art exhibition and a film festival which will highlight the medical humanitarian work that MSF provides to people affected by forgotten epidemics, armed conflicts, natural or man-made disasters and exclusion from healthcare.

Guests of honour at the inauguration on Wednesday included noted author and filmmaker Vijay Singh, Canadian photographer of Indian origin Sami Siva, an ex-DR-TB patient and Jean Philippe-Bottin, Director, Alliance Française de Delhi.

Speaking on the first-of-its kind collaborative effort, Jean-Philippe Bottin said “The Alliance Française is the first worldwide cultural NGO present in more than 130 countries. Being a humanist organisation it is but normal that we are collaborating with MSF for this festival, showcasing their efforts in the interest of mankind. I hope that this festival will be a recurring event.”

The photo exhibition, While We Looked Away,will feature photographs by Sami Siva, which documents the daily lives of (MSF) patients in India and the conditions in which they find themselves. “I did this project to raise awareness about the difficulties that people without access to healthcare face, and the role that MSF plays in these communities. Some of the photos are very personal, so it’s important for me to share that with a wider audience,” said Sami Siva.

Speaking at the inauguration, Farhat Mantoo, Acting General Director, MSF India said “MSF is delighted to have the Alliance Française de Delhi as a crucial partner in this endeavor. The festival offers a unique opportunity to spread awareness about health issues which are present in contemporary India but yet escape our attention because of other life priorities.”

Four different films, including the Sundance film festival-nominated Fire in the Blood and Javier Bardem’s The Invisibles, will be screened at AF de Delhi from August 29th to 31st and is open to public. The film screenings will explore the hows and whys of MSF’s long term work — emergency medical relief, campaigns for the access to essential medicine, and upholding the organisation’s humanitarian principles in the face of security risks—and will be followed by Q&A sessions with experts from MSF and civil society.

The photo exhibition will be open to the public from August 28 to September 5 from 10 am to 8 pm daily at the Alliance Française’s art gallery.

About Alliance Française

Alliance Française (AF) is the first cultural NGO in the world present in more than 130 countries. In India AF is present in 23 cities from Leh to Trivandram, and from Ahmedabad to Kolkata.

About Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare in around 70 countries. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.

About MSF in India

MSF has been working in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare in the states of Bihar, Manipur, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.


For further information, please contact:

Aditi Sonrexa

Media Manager, MSF India


+91 965 0061 067

Mitushi Khurana

Cultural Coordinator, AF de Delhi




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