Refugees: Forced to Flee

Imperial War Museum
24 September 2020 - 24 May 2021
London, UK

It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from. Conflict creates crisis and chaos.

War turns people's worlds upside down, from the First World War to the present day, countless lives have been affected by conflict. Ordinary people are forced to make extraordinary decisions – should they stay or go?

Refugees: Forced to Flee, the exhibition at IWM London, explores a century of refugee experiences, from Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews and the Kindertransport, to the Calais Jungle and the treacherous Mediterranean crossings.

Cutting-edge research supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has provided the exhibition with unparalleled resources to tell stories of refugees across the world. These stories combine new research and real-life experiences. Over 80 photographs, oral histories, documents and objects are on display, many for the first time. The exhibition also includes new commissioned artworks by London-based contemporary artists Shorsh Saleh, Grace Schwindt and Indrė Šerpytytė.

Šerpytytė has created Constellations, an installation responding to ideas of journeying, agency and communication. Interpreting the routes of individual refugees as they travel to Europe, Šerpytytė examines the practical challenge of navigating these journeys, and the hope that might be found on the way.

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