Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter

New MOMA exhibition investigates the design & infrastructure of modern refugee camps.

It is estimated that 65 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homeland and seek asylum in neighbouring countries. In light of recent emergency relief efforts to support displaced people, the Museum of Modern Art is showcasing the Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter exhibition.

The gallery showcase brings together design across a number of platforms. Various architects, product designers and artists around the world are focussing their efforts on the circumstances brought about by forced displacement and the problems that migration pose.

Where refugee camps were once considered to be temporary havens, short-lived settlements that ought to be easily erected and dismantled, the Insecurities exhibition approaches the subject’s more nuanced sides – a kind of intersection between the disputation of human rights and the complex making of informal cities.

Among the objects on display is the Better Shelter modular emergency structure designed in collaboration between the IKEA Foundation and the United Nations Refugee Agency. Also on display are photojournalistic images of modern refugee camp life by Brendan Bannon and a vast wall installation that depicts a global map of migratory paths woven in miles of electrical wire by Reena Saini Kallat.

The exhibition is meant to raise questions about the representation and logistic design of shelter as a source of stability and security, ultimately reflecting how refugees are living in the 21st-century in an extended state of upheaval.

The Insecurities exhibition is curated by Sean Anderson and Arièle Dionne-Krosnick. It will remain on display at the MOMA gallery in New York until 22 January 2017.