'Experiences of Exile' Exhibition
When Algeria became independent in the summer of 1962, almost 800,000 French settlers fled Algeria for exile in France in the biggest mass migration to Europe since 1945. As Europe witnesses another exodus across the Mediterranean, the 'Experiences of Exile' exhibition aimed to show how settlers who had lived in Algeria for over a century came to terms with living in France, the country to which they belonged but which few had ever visited. Images and period objects are provided with the kind assistance of the Ecomusée du Val de Bièvre, Fresnes.
The 'Experiences of Exile' exhibition also presents contemporary works of art and photographs which have documented and responded to the European 'Border' or 'Migration Crisis' - referring to a period of increased asylum claims in European countries since 2011, following the war in Syria and other extreme geopolitical crises. Although the two case studies are legally, historically, and politically distinct, both can tell us something about the experience of forced migration, the effects of leaving home against one's will, and what it means to find a new one.