Project News

Making a Home away from Home

Posted 24 November 2020

This exhibit was initially meant to be shown "in real life" at the Musuem of English Rural life on November 14, 2020 as part of the British Academy funded Being Human Festival. Due to the pandemic, lockdown ensued and the materials which I had created with the help of a locally resettled Syrian refugee ached to still be drawn upon. In an effort to salvage her work and my own curation of this refugee tent replica, I created this echo of a refugee tent in suburban South East England, and then took it down. In this way, the various aspects of refugee limbo are further underscored by this exhibit's implicit meditation on impermanence. This video exhibit serves as an opportunity to take 5 minutes to reflect on the ways in which refugees live, though as one refugee reminded me, "the tent is only a fraction of the limbo of our lives. It might even only represent 1/100 of our waiting. We wait in lines, for food, for news, for educations, for permission to move, for a sense of the future, for permission to think about the future, for our whole lives. Living in a tent is only the smallest part of our waiting" (2020 testimony, in the UK).

Click here to view the exhibit.


This extract is from an interview conducted by YASMINE SHAMMA during 2019 as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.