On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Institute of Peace together with The VII Foundation will open “Imagine: Reflections on Peace,” a multimedia exhibit that explores the themes and challenges of peacebuilding through an immersive look at societies that suffered — and survived — violent conflict. Using historical photos, texts, video profiles and interactive opportunities, the Imagine exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with the realities of violent conflict and asks the question: “Why is it so difficult to make a good peace when it is so easy to imagine?”

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The U.S. military airlifted over 120,000 civilians from Bagram airbase, many of them employees of U.S. and foreign organizations whose lives were now at risk under the Taliban.
The U.S. military airlifted over 120,000 civilians from Bagram airbase, many of them employees of U.S. and foreign organizations whose lives were now at risk under the Taliban.

Conceived and designed by the VII Foundation, this in-person experience will be located at USIP’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. This exhibit also gives visitors a chance to engage with the Institute’s on-the-ground peacebuilding work — as well as learn about practical actions they themselves can take to make the world more peaceful.

The exhibit will run from June 2 through August 1 and will be open to the public on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Admission is free, ticket times must be reserved in advance.

Women rush to vote at a women's school early in the morning.

AFGHANISTAN, 2004

Alexandra Boulat, photographer

Women rush to vote at a women's school early in the morning. The 2004 election was the first-ever direct presidential election and the first time in 20 years that Afghan women were allowed to vote. Herat, Afghanistan.

Nedžiba Salihović and other Srebrenica  widows celebrate the conviction of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić for his role in the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica. Salihović lost her husband and son in the massacre.

BOSNIA, 2017

Ron Haviv, photographer

Nedžiba Salihović and other Srebrenica widows celebrate the conviction of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić for his role in the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica. Salihović lost her husband and son in the massacre.

The hatred and barbarity that was to become normal during the years of this war began here: the banker fighting against the barber, the school teacher fighting against the grocery clerk. I was witnessing a complete breakdown of civil society.

Ron Haviv, photographer of the war in Bosnia
Khmer Rouge guerrillas in a remote  village near Pol Pot’s base in Anlong Veng, northern Cambodia, 1990

CAMBODIA, 1990

Gary Knight, photographer

Khmer Rouge guerrillas in a remote village near Pol Pot’s base in Anlong Veng, northern Cambodia.

Peace demonstration at La Plaza de Bolívar, Bogotá. The peace treaty seeks to protect gay rights along with the rights of other minority groups. Opposition groups include Uribe’s conservatives, Catholics, and evangelists.

COLOMBIA, 2016

Stephen Ferry, photographer

Peace demonstration at La Plaza de Bolívar, Bogotá. The peace treaty seeks to protect gay rights along with the rights of other minority groups.

We simply can no longer afford to deny the full potential of one half of the population. The world needs to tap into the talent and wisdom of women. Whether the issue is food security, economic recovery, health, or peace and security, the participation of women is needed now more than ever.

Michelle Bachelet, U.S. High Commissioner for Human Rights
One of the byproducts of Lebanon’s 15 year civil war was Hezbollah, which emerged after Israel’s 1982 invasion and remains the last militia in Lebanon with arms. Hezbollah runs special cemeteries—some with their own Facebook pages—for its fighters, including several in Beirut’s predominantly Shiite suburb of Dahiye.

LEBANON, 2017

Nichole Sobecki, photographer

One of the byproducts of Lebanon’s 15 year civil war was Hezbollah, which emerged after Israel’s 1982 invasion and remains the last militia in Lebanon with arms. Hezbollah runs special cemeteries—some with their own Facebook pages—for its fighters, including several in Beirut’s predominantly Shiite suburb of Dahiye.

Schoolteacher Ruth Mukankuranga in a Kigali school today. Prior to the 1994 genocide, discrimination was taught as part of the school culture, written into school history books and perpetuated within the educational system.

RWANDA, 2019

Jack Picone, photographer

Schoolteacher Ruth Mukankuranga in a Kigali school today. Prior to the 1994 genocide, discrimination was taught as part of the school culture, written into school history books and perpetuated within the educational system.

What becomes clear is that the signing of an agreement is not the culmination of a peace process. Indeed, it is only the beginning, for lasting peace is built by the people left in a ravaged country long after the peacemakers are gone.

Jonathan Powell, “Building the Tunnel”
 Fighters with the Free Syrian Army on the front line. With limited access to arms, FSA rebels resorted to making their own weapons. Aleppo, Syria.

SYRIA, 2012

Nicole Tung, photographer

Fighters with the Free Syrian Army on the front line. With limited access to arms, FSA rebels resorted to making their own weapons. Aleppo, Syria.

Refugees from Ukraine wait for a bus to continue their journey after crossing the Polish border at Medyk, Poland.

UKRAINE, 2022

Maciek Nabrdalik, photographer

Refugees from Ukraine wait for a bus to continue their journey after crossing the Polish border at Medyk, Poland.