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Refugees: Forced to Flee at the Imperial War Museum

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A family and their overloaded car at a refugee centre on the Iraq-Kuwait border during the First Gulf War, 1991. © John Keane (IWM GLF 174). Image courtesy of IWM.
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Discover personal accounts of people forced to make extraordinary decisions and flee their homes with the Design Museum's Refugees: Forced to Flee exhibition.


Explore refugee experiences from the last century to today with Refugees: Forced to Flee, part of the Imperial War Museum’s Refugee season. 

Discover the impacts of historic wars and ongoing worldwide disputes, which turn people’s lives upside down and force them to leave their homes. This eye-opening exhibition delves into different global conflicts such as the German invasion of Belgium during the First World War, ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian War and the treacherous Mediterranean crossings of the present day.

Hear personal accounts from refugees and displaced people, and see newly commissioned artworks from London-based artists Shorsh Saleh, Grace Schwindt and Indrė Šerpytytė.

New research supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides a wealth of insight into different refugee stories, alongside more than 80 photographs, objects and documents from refugees and displaced people, some of which are shown for the first time.

Make sure not to miss renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s site specific installation during your visit. His work, A History of Bombs, is also part of the Refugees season and is the first time an artist has taken over the entire atrium at the Imperial War Museum. 

Venue Details & Map

IWM London: Imperial War Museum London

Lambeth Road
+44 (0)20 7416 5000
Public transport:
Tube: Lambeth North Train: Waterloo

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