The Red Cross are aiming to highlight the ordeal of living in the world’s largest refugee camp.
Pop-up season is in full swing, but few are quite as thought-provoking as this one. The Red Cross has opened an immersive pop-up at Westfield Stratford, which is modelled on the world’s largest refugee camp – a spot in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, which holds over 700,000 refugees.
Fleeing horrific violence from their home in Rakhine state, Myanmar – in what the UN described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” – close to a million Rohingya Muslims crossed the border into Bangladesh in 2017, where they’ve been assisted by the Red Cross and other international and regional aid organisations. You’ve most likely seen it on the news, and now the Red Cross are aiming for a more visceral impact with the immersive exhibition.
As you wander around the recreation of the camp, you’ll be able to see the treacherous conditions the refugees trekked through to reach Cox’s Bazar, and see, hear, and touch various elements of camp life. The exhibition will also showcase real-life stories, in which refugees will share their tales of leaving home, making the journey, and what life is like in the camp. There will also be a shop at the end of the pop-up, where you can make donations or buy items to support the charity’s efforts in Bangladesh.
It’s now been two years since the crisis unfolded, and all too often, world-altering events like these slip off our radar as the news cycle spins onwards. Credit to the Red Cross, then, for attempting to bring the reality to our front door and continue to raise awareness – the world certainly needs it.
You’ll find the pop-up on the top floor of Westfield Stratford, outside Gap, and it’s in place until Sunday, August 18th – see more here.
Also published on Medium.