In this project, Indrė Šerpytytė has represented various refugee journeys across the Mediterranean as neon ‘constellations.’ The collections of lines and circles denote the stops and starts along the way, but also allude to a universal language of astronomy.

Digital technology has changed the way we travel and communicate, but the stars remain a key navigation tool on refugee journeys. In 2016, a CNN report recorded a smuggler telling refugees, “See those stars. They mean North. Follow them.” For Šerpytytė, the stars represent both a practical tool and a symbol of hope.

Each individual route is taken from Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat, a research project led by Professor Vicki Squite (University of Warwick) and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Constellations was oiginally commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, London, UK. 

Related exhibitions:

Refugees: Forced to Flee, Imperial War Museum, London, UK, 2020