ANTWERP | ‘Stories of Refuge’ exhibition at Red Star Line Museum


Until 11 December, the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp hosts the temporary exhibition ‘Stories of Refuge‘. A topical exhibition, now with the war Russia is waging against Ukraine.

Flag of Ukraine. Photo taken in Zandvoort.

In 2021, it was exactly 70 years since the Refugee Convention was signed by 24 countries in Geneva. In the aftermath of World War II, this convention established the definition of a refugee and who was entitled to asylum. Even today, there are 80 million people fleeing their countries worldwide, and this is the subject of much discussion in our society.

To mark this anniversary, the Red Star Line Museum is creating the ‘Stories of refuge’ exhibition. It explores what it means to be on the run, beyond laws and political agreements. People with a story of refuge tell their story, personal objects and interviews bring it to life. 

The Red Star Line Museum tells the story of two million passengers who once made the crossing to America on the Red Star Line’s steamships. Some of them would be considered as refugees today. It shows that this is not merely an actual issue of the past few years. Throughout history, millions of people left their homes through wars and crises, seeking safety.

Coming to Belgium

The ‘Stories of refuge’ exhibition will be an authentic journey along stories of refugees who have come to Belgium over the last 70 years. Stories of frustration, uncertainty and trauma, as well as courage, resilience and persistence. What decisions did they have to make during their journeys? Who did they meet along the way? What about the label ‘refugee’? Will they ever not be a ‘refugee’?

World Refugee Day

“On the 20th of June, International World Refugee Day, we asked Vida, Noor, Angela and Zakaria to read some pieces from the Geneva Convention and tell us what it means to them”, Red Star Line explains.

The film is a collaboration between Atlas Antwerp, the Red Cross asylum for refugees ‘Linkeroever’ and the Red Star Line Museum.


So, as such an exhibition is planned well in advance, there is no story of Ukrainian refugees. Although the present conflict is mentioned on the timeline.

Mentioning Ukraine.

What you do get is several witness accounts of refugees. They fled formal war, civil war, violence in general, dictatorship, a political system, repression based who you are or love or make love to, …

Flag of Georgia.

These stories show different backgrouds, necessities and motivations for fleeing. It shows it’s always happening and it reminds us of forgotten struggles. 

Wordt a visit. 

Practical information and tickets.

Art and museums in Antwerp

38 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Amazing post! I love the Matroesjka. Thank´’s for share, Timothy.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Keep well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      You’re welcome and thank you. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Thank’s ! You as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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