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CNN International Partners with UK’s Imperial War Museums


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CNN is partnering with the UK’s prestigious Imperial War Museums (IWM) on a special installation entitled Life in a Camp, exploring life in a contemporary refugee camp.

Part of IWM’s upcoming Refugees season (2 April – 29 November 2020), the centrepiece of Life in a Camp is an innovative installation that will immerse visitors in a refugee camp environment.

Created by CNN International’s Sound & Vision team, in partnership with IWM, Life in a Camp will utilise the international news network’s pioneering panoramic video newsgathering techniques to deepen visitors’ understanding of the lives of contemporary refugees.

Life in a Camp at IWM London will consist of three large wall projections in a 30 square metre space, giving visitors an intimate, immersive view into the makeshift Moria camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos. Designed to host 2,200 people, Moria is currently home to over 18,000 refugees*, many of whom have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria, which began in 2011.

Exploring themes of permanence and impermanence, Life in a Camp will utilise footage captured throughout February 2020 by CNN’s three-time Emmy nominated filmmaker and photojournalist, Lewis Whyld. Filmed especially for IWM’s Refugees season, this footage will reveal how refugees spend their time in camps, giving insight into the harsh realities of everyday life in Moria – from overcrowding to the lack of amenities and supplies. Life in a Camp will allow visitors to experience just five minutes of what, for many, is a reality that stretches on for years.

Thomas Evans, CNN Vice President of EMEA Newsgathering and London Bureau Chief, says: “Our aim with this project is to give people a tangible sense of the environment in a refugee camp in 2020. As a network, we’ve pioneered 360 video in newsgathering, and this collaboration with IWM is an opportunity to take those techniques into a new environment. We hope that visitors will gain a fresh insight into the vitally important story of the ongoing refugee crisis.”

Simon Offord, Curator of Second World War and Mid 20th Century at the Imperial War Museums, says: “Refugee camps can often feel like miniature cities, with permanent structures developing over time, but often, they are a rapid response to a pressing need. This partnership with CNN will give our visitors a snapshot of what life is really like in a camp, highlighting normality and routine within an unexpected place.”

Life in a Camp is part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, in Manchester, UK, in 2020.

Highlights include a new commission from world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei titled History of Bombs (2 April – 29 November 2020); Refugees: Forced to Flee (2 April – 29 November 2020), an exhibition at IWM London featuring cutting-edge research projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); and a major new exhibition at IWM North, Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire (15 May 2020 – 10 January 2021).