New ethnographic exhibition opens at Moesgaard on 14 October, 2022

The exhibition HOME - Among nomads, refugees, seafarers, and migrants focuses on the meaning of home for different people, who have in common that their homes are in disruption, spread over several countries, in motion, or detached from one physical place

Nomad tent in Mauritania: The tent is the focal point of the family's social life and is designed and furnished so that it integrates optimally in the extremely hot and challenging climate. Photo: Christian Vium, Aarhus University.

In the exhibition HOME, the audience meets four different groups of 'mobile people': Nomads in Mauritania, who divide their lives between the open landscapes of the desert and economic opportunities in the cities; seafarers from Papua New Guinea who spend the majority of their lives at sea; migrants of Indian origin residing in Tanzania for whom their ethnicity and history make citizenship uncertain; and finally Ukrainian families in Denmark who have fled their homes.

"The exhibition gives the audience the opportunity to reflect on what home is or can be. Today, more people than ever live in a different country than the one in which they were born. Some people move voluntarily, others are forced to leave by war and poverty. At the same time, people migrating is nothing new. For several of the groups in the exhibition, mobility is deeply rooted in them, and for them 'home' has never been linked to one place. What does having a home mean to these mobile groups? What makes a place homely, if your home is in several places?, says Anders Emil Rasmussen, exhibition manager and museum inspector at Moesgaard Museum

Visits using virtual reality

In the exhibition, the audience gets an insight into the dichotomy between movement and home through unique objects such as a habitable sailboat from Papua New Guinea and a nomadic tent from Mauritania. There will be everyday as well as religious objects from an Indian family's home in Tanzania and the modest luggage of Ukrainian refugees upon their arrival in Denmark. And with the help of virtual reality, the audience can visit these diverse homes and residences, and hear the residents explain what home and homely is to them, given that mobility is a basic condition


Visualization of the exhibition room at Moesgaard. Photo: Moesgaard Museum.

The exhibition is a result of the research project The Materiality of Home among Mobile Groups, conducted by Cecil Marie Schou Pallesen and Anders Emil Rasmussen from Moesgaard Museum, and Jeanette Lykkegård and Christian Vium from Aarhus University. The research project and the exhibition are financed by VELUX FONDEN's Museum Programme.

The exhibition can be seen at Moesgaard Museum from 14 October, 2022 to 14 May, 2023.

Image left: The Titan people of Papua New Guinea have deep roots in a mobile life form on boats like these. Photo: Anders Emil Rasmussen, Moesgaard Museum.