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Human Shelter

21 March – 3 May 2019

A young woman in a snowy winter landscape wearing a traditional Lapp reindeer jacket and a red scarf.
A young woman in a snowy winter landscape wearing a traditional Lapp reindeer jacket and a red scarf.

How do you make a home in a refugee camp? In our Human Shelter exhibition, we visit people trying to live as normal a life as possible in vulnerable areas – from floating shantytowns in Lagos to refugee camps in Iraq.

The Human Shelter exhibition is based on the documentary film of the same name by Danish film maker Boris B. Bertram. Over a two-year period, he travelled to four continents visiting people living in straitened circumstances. The exhibition features both his film and background material from his travels.

A woman inside her shelter in a refugee camp with a bed, cushions, a carpet and walls decorated with colourful textiles.
Refugee camp in Iraq. Still from the documentary by Boris B. Bertram.

“The exhibition asks the vital question of how to make temporary accommodation feel like a home,” says Boris B. Bertram.

Tokyo, Japan. From the documentary by Boris B. Bertram.

Human Shelter is an exhibition which asks visitors to think about their own relationship with the concept of home. It presents a variety of perspectives which show how materials, social relationships, rituals and feelings can affect how much we have a sense of being at home. The film was produced with support from IKEA. As a company we are interested in the everyday life of people around the world. This helps us to create products that are better able to meet the needs that the many people have for environmentally and financially sustainable solutions.

Houses built on a river in Nigeria and people rowing small boats in different directions.
Lagos, Nigeria. Still from the documentary by Boris B. Bertram.

“We visited some of the world’s most
extreme places, facing challenges like
climate change, globalisation, humanitarian
crises and migration,” says Boris B.
Bertram.

A Mars-like environment in Hawaii, two people dressed in protective neon-coloured gear, a white igloo-like tent, and solar panels.
Mars environment in Hawaii. Still from the documentary by Boris B. Bertram.