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Barriers and long cast shadows Conflict and war cast long shadows. They leave behind them bodily and emotional damage. They steal lives, futures and hope. The exhibition Barrier:Zones follows the lives of people whose fortunes were shaped or determined by conflict. Some of the wars finished decades ago, others still claim new victims today. Those portrayed are people with disabilities, fighting to lead dignified lives, each and every day. In the Gaza Strip, in refugee camps, in Congo, in the Ukraine, in the villages of Uganda, Vietnam and Laos. But also refugees in Germany and victims of war trauma in the U.S. Their lives are zones of barriers. Some they have been able to overcome. Others will still require a lot of effort to surpass. Some stories are encouraging, others are saddening. But so says Till Mayer, journalist and photographer, they all have one thing in common: "They demand our respect." The author of the exhibition has, for many years, told the stories of people with disabilities in conflict and war zones. Many of the people portrayed in the exhibition were supported by Handicap International in their fight for a dignified life. Handicap International and Author Till Mayer would like to thank the portrayed for sharing their stories with him.



Behind the pictures hide the stories of the portrayed and the barrier:zones which they surround.



Handicap International was founded in 1982 by two French doctors. In refugee camps in Thailand they came across 6,000 Cambodians with amputations and other severe war injuries, and who were close to completely cut off from any humanitarian assistance. Giving these people a long-term perspective by providing prosthetics and rehabilitation was what became the cornerstone of Handicap International’s work. Today, the international aid organisation is represented in about 60 countries, working on approximately 350 projects around prevention, rehabilitation and inclusion as well as the clearing of ordnances and risk education. Further, Handicap International campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities. The organisation is particularity active in promoting the international ban on mines and cluster bombs, as these weapons affect the lives of innocents even long after wars have ended. Handicap International is a founding member and chair of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). In 2011, Handicap International received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for its humanitarian engagement, the most prestigious award in the field.



As journalist and photographer Till Mayer has been working closely with relief organisations in war and crisis regions for many years. In his work, he often focuses on the struggle of people with disabilities. In his home town, he established the readers’ campaign “Helfen macht Spaß” (“It’s Fun to Help”) that supports people in need in collaboration with charities. As a volunteer, he also supports elderly people in need in Lviv (Ukraine). He is employed as an editor at the daily newspaper “Obermain-Tagblatt”. As a freelance photographer and journalist, he takes photos and writes for numerous newspapers, magazines as well as for Spiegel Online. For his humanitarian Engagement his was repeatedly awarded.



© Hendrik Steffens / Handicap International

Please feel free to lend the photo exhibition with us and invite the author Till Mayer or our pedagogic referents to an event.


24.09.2014: Stiftungsdialog, Haus des Stiftens, Munich

27.09.2014 - 17.10.2014: Akademie für politische Bildung Tutzing - Pictures of the art opening

13.10.2014: On the occasion of the director’s change at Handicap International, Münchner Künstlerhaus – Pictures of the event

10.11.2014 - 14.11.2014: Emil von Behring Gymnasium, Spardorf

20.11.2014 - 31.12.2014: Uni Bamberg, together with Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz - Kreisverband Bamberg - Pictures of the event

10.01.2015 - 23.01.2015: Haus auf der Mauer, Jena - Pictures of the event

26.01.2015 - 06.02.2015: Städtische Berufsschule für das Hotel-, Gaststätten- und Braugewerbe, München

23.02.2015 - 13.03.2015: Carl-Bosch-Schule, Heidelberg

17.04.2015 - 08.05.2015: Gemeinschaftshaus Langwasser, Nuremberg

18.05.2015 - 22.05.2015: Business School Freising

08.06.2015 - 26.06.2015: Realschule Burgkunstadt und Gymnasium Burgkunstadt

08.07.2015 - 19.08.2015: Lebenshilfe Sonthofen

07.09.2015 - 11.09.2015: First Review Conference (1RC) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), Dubrovnik, Croatia

25.09.2015 - 10.10.2015: Munich Gasteig

09.10.2015 - 10.10.2015: Humanitarian Congress Berlin

14.10.2015 - 04.12.2015: Landratsamt Lichtenfels and attached schools

01.12.2015: Social Impact Night, InterNations, Munich

05.12.2015 - 31.12.2015: Akademie für Neue Medien - Kulmbach

07.01.2016 - 07.02.2016: Erwin-Hymer-Museum in Bad Waldsee

11.02.2016 - 29.02.2016: Commercial College Erlangen

31.03.2016 - 01.04.2016: Youth in Humanitarian Action, Berlin

04.04.2016 - 06.04.2016: CSR Forum Ludwigsburg

13.04.2016 - 04.05.2016: University Eichstätt

09.05.2016 - 11.05.2016: Partizip e.V., Fair: "Inklusion Erlebnismesse", Hannover

02.06.2016 - 10.06.2016: BR Rundfunk Foyer, München

14.06.2016 - 28.06.2016: Clinicle Centre Lichtenfels

01.07.2016 - 25.08.2016: Public Library Grafing

29.09.2016 - 13.11.2016: Centre of Documentation Zeiler Hexenturm

28.11.2016 - 12.12.2016: Public Library Rosenheim

21.12.2016 - 20.01.2017: Peace Museum Meeder

30.01.2017 - 10.02.2017: Christian-Sammet-Mittelschule, Pegnitz

13.02.2017 - 24.02.2017: Gymnasium Pegnitz

01.03.2017 - 09.03.2017: Town Hall Achim

12.03.2017 - 31.03.2017: University for social art

01.04.2017 - 08.04.2017: Verden

30.03.2017 - 30.03.2017: Stiftungsfrühstück, München

12.05.2017 - 21.05.2017: The International Student Week, Ilmenau

22.05.2017 - 02.06.2017: Oskar-Sembach-Realschule, Lauf

27.05.2017 - 09.06.2017: DHBW Villingen-Schwenningen

24.06.2017: BRK-Bezirksverband Schwaben

26.06.2017 - 26.07.2017:  Leonhard-Wagner-Gymnasium Schwabmünchen

02.09.2017: Stadtfest EigenArt Zwickau

04.09.2017 - 30.09.2017: Käthe-Kollwitz-Gymnasium Zwickau

27.11.2017 - 15.12.2017: City of Karlsruhe

27.11.2017 - 15.12.2017: Montessori Gesamtschule Krefeld (english version)

11.04.2018 - 26.04.2018: Humboldt-University Berlin / Foyer "Kommode"

20.04.2018 - 27.04.2018: GrIStuF e.V. Greifswald (engl. version)

03.05.2018: 35 years of engagement worldwide - 20 years Handicap International Deutschland, Künstlerhaus München

10.06.2018 - 17.06.2018: Sophie Church Berlin

20.06.2018. - 17.08.2018: Weltladen Würzburg

21.09.2018 - 6.10.2018: City Hall Schallstadt

10.01.2019 - 25.01.2019: WWG Bayreuth

08.02.2019 - 22.02.2019: District office Starnberg

01.03.2019 - 222.03.2019: B14 Nürnberg

01.04.2019 - 14.04.2019: Synagogue Kronach

04.04.2019 - 03.05.2019: TU Dortmund (engl. Version)