Until 31 May 2021

IWM London & IWM North

Free

Taking place at IWM London and IWM North, Refugees explores refugee experiences throughout history and ongoing issues faced by those affected through two major exhibitions, a series of events and a new site-specific art commission at IWM London from world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei.  

Collectively, 17.5 million people have fled Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen alone, due to recent conflict. This, however, is not a new phenomenon and throughout history war has drastically altered the limits of what many call home. Through two major exhibitions, a new artistic commission and a series of immersive events, IWM’s Refugees season will unlock the personal stories of people forced to flee their homes and those who work to support them. With programming across IWM London and IWM North, Refugees will give visitors the space to consider their own responses to similar experiences and dilemmas.

At IWM London

A family and their overloaded car at a refugee centre on the Iraq-Kuwait border, during the First Gulf War, 1991.
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)
Refugees: Forced to Flee

IWM London

24 September 2020 to 24 May 2021

A Face to Open Doors Hero Image
© ANAGRAM
A Face to Open Doors IWM London

IWM London

24 September 2020 to 24 May 2021

© IWM, Ai Weiwei, History of Bombs 2020
© IWM, Ai Weiwei, History of Bombs 2020
Ai Weiwei History of Bombs

IWM London

Until 24 May 2021

A family cooking on a makeshift cooker in a refugee camp.
© CNN. A photo taken from Life in a Camp at IWM London, a partnership project with CNN.
Life in a Camp

IWM London

24 September 2020 to 24 May 2021

At IWM North

Lebanon, Baalbek district, Arsal refugee camp. Aid workers.
© ICRC/Hussein Baydoun Lebanon, Baalbek district, Arsal refugee camp.
Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire

IWM North

2 October 2020 – 31 May 2021

A Face to Open Doors Hero Image
© ANAGRAM
A Face to Open Doors IWM North

Touring

Coming soon

Online

A Bosnian and two Iraqi refugees imposed onto an image of Belgian refugees leaving their homes after the First World War, with the words 'why do refugees leave?'.
First World War
Why do Refugees leave their homes?
Since the First World War, countless lives have been shattered by conflict. Refugees across the globe have had to leave their homes and make journeys to settle somewhere else. This is still happening today. But what drives this displacement? Why do people leave their homes?
Portrait photograph of Noor Nawaz standing outside ©NRC
©NRC
Contemporary conflict
Aid Workers: Why we do it
Being an aid worker can mean facing hard choices and dangerous environments. Discover what keeps three aid workers going in difficult times. 
Colony of Belgian workers in Britain. The bond store at the National Projectile Factory, showing stacks of 8 inch shells. Birtley-Elisabethville, Co. Durham, 1918.
© IWM Q 27735
First World War
How Belgian Refugees Kept the British Army Going During the First World War
During the First World War, 250,000 Belgians came to Britain fleeing the conflict that had taken over their country. Some of those who came would end up playing an important role in the war effort.