Forced From Home: The Refugee Experience

The traveling outdoor exhibit stops in Minneapolis to confront visitors with the challenges of displacement

With a foreign-born population growing faster than the national average, Minnesota has a lot to gain from the Forced From Home exhibit, set up in the Commons park near U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this weekend. Presented by Doctors Without Borders, the traveling exhibit immerses visitors in technological simulation and hypothetical scenarios that attempt to make real—in knotted, rushing anxiety—the challenges of uprooting from one’s home country, at a time when more than 68.5 million displaced people are the most the world has seen.

Imagine navigating a 10,000-square-foot outdoor installation in the Commons. Participants receive cards representing possessions, and as they go along, they must choose which to jettison—from first aid to transportation, from smartphones to pets.

In a geodesic dome, virtual reality surrounds visitors with footage from refugee camps and settlements where displaced people struggle for safety. Brief virtual-reality documentaries follow individuals who have had to flee their homes in Afghanistan, Honduras, Syria, and other countries.

Visitors can learn the terms of refugees’ everyday realities—from the factors pushing them from their countries to the methods of transportation they use and their legal rights.

Forced From Home
Through September 16
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Commons, Minneapolis