Refuge Canada - UNHCR Tent

by Michele Gervais, Curatorial Projects Coordinator

Time 0:00:30


This is a UNHCR refugee tent, which they located in Montreal. So it was most likely used in North America. It was set for disposal because it’s quite old and they kindly donated it to us for this exhibit.

This tent is a part of Refuge Canada to show what temporary settlement living is like for different situations. In another section of the exhibit we have an apartment. People who are able to set up in a building they’ll have a little bit more security and four walls, but some people just need quick temporary settlement so they’ll get something like this tent.

People can learn what it’s like to live in close quarters with each other. How this might be your family’s living arrangements for maybe a couple weeks, one month, two months, a couple years. Just that you might think you’re only staying here for a week but then it ends up being a couple years. Or you might settle in and know that you’ll be there for a couple years. You can also learn how you can make do with very little objects in your living situation.

I also find it very interesting about water and how important water collection is. I’ve been collecting these water bottles for the last couple months with a friend from a restaurant. Just how important it is to make sure that you’re always having water and you’re always going out to get water.

It really depends on the situation. Some people might just move through a camp for a couple weeks but not knowing that they’re going to be spending several months or years. We have some Oral History interviews with people who have been in situations like this for years and that’s the reality of it.

Return to our Refuge Canada video gallery. →