The current civil war in Yemen is a humanitarian crisis. Aside from the violence and destruction of the conflict, inflation and access to of food, water and healthcare are having direct physical and psychological effects right now on the country’s men, women and children. These worn Yemeni Rial notes are part of the exhibition Yemen: Inside a crisis, which opens at IWM North this week - immediate and personal reminders of the economic impact of war.
Making exhibitions about current conflicts is a challenge – not least because the stories don’t stay still once a display opens. The war in Yemen is a live event that is still happening, today., not an even we can look back on as historians. But if museums are going to fulfil their missions of reflecting the world around us and being relevant to our lives, they need to mount displays like this. And we as visitors must go and see them.
However complex it might be to create museum content about contemporary conflict, we’re not in a nation where fighting has tipped a fragile country into an economic tailspin. So go and see it and learn something more about the world we live in.