Past event

Somewhere to Stay: outdoor art installation at the University of St Andrews A new work of art by Diana Forster, co-commissioned by the University of St Andrews' Visualising War and Peace project and the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund

In 1940, when she was 16 years old, Forster's mother — Anna Sokulska Forster — was deported from her family home in eastern Poland (now Ukraine) and transported to a Soviet labour camp in Arkhangelsk. So began a long journey of survival and ongoing displacement that would see her travel thousands of miles, from country to country, in search of shelter and a new place to call home.

Forster has spent years researching what her mother and thousands of others went through during this mass displacement — a forced migration which has unsettling resonances with more recent deportations of Ukrainian citizens to Russia, since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. She has created a series of ten laser-cut aluminium panels to help us visualise their journey and its many staging posts. Her aim is to communicate the unimaginably shocking rupture between a settled, normal life and a terrifying future, decided by people who did not care whether the deportees lived or died.

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