Exhibit Aims to Share IDPs Experience of Fleeing Donbas Warzone
Since the beginning of the Donbas war, more than 1.5 million people had to pack their belongings and flee Donbas. A new interactive installation attempts to give visitors a first-hand experience of what it is like to run from war.
The installation is a regular post-soviet apartment. A team of three is presented with a quest. On the list of items they are given is money, personal documents, and basic necessities, all of which need to be packed in under five minutes.
After that, with the use of VR headsets, participants are given a first-person view of what the displaced persons had to go through.
“I was leaving Donetsk for just a couple of weeks, with only a small backpack. It was on Aug 2, 2014. I hoped that Donetsk would be liberated by Independence Day,” displaced Donetsk resident Illia Suzdalev said.
“This is horror, total horror. It’s a terrifying thing and I never want to experience something like this. Because in real life, there wouldn’t be a list,” volunteer Natalia Sehiyenko said.
This interactive installation will remain open in the Museum of History of Kyiv until May 27. Every day visitors will have the opportunity to see the Russian-hybrid occupation through the eyes of regular residents of Donbas and Crimea.
“With this project, we want to bring attention to the needs of IDPs (internally displaced persons) to once again remind everyone that there are people who have lost everything and are trying to get back on their feet. They need support and, at times, all they need, is to be remembered,” Internews-Ukraine Program Director Andriy Kulakov said.
Organizers plan to later bring their exhibit to Lviv and Odesa. According to the Ministry of Social Policy, there are 1-and-a-half million internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Their problems remain largely unresolved.