What We Brought with Us

Exhibition at Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach, October 25 – November 30, 2022

What We Brought with Us is an exhibition of things people took when they fled persecution, suffering, and war.

When people are forced from their homes, their things carry symbolic weight. They represent the human relations that constitute a settled life. Yet things also stand for hope: they are a seed that must bear fruit in strange ground. Refugee things aren’t always judiciously chosen; they may be selected in haste and confusion. En route, things are lost, traded, and stolen, or jettisoned because they can’t be carried a step farther. What is retained may acquire new meaning and become the metonym for an entire life.

What We Brought with Us makes us question our connection to things and to one another. We are prompted to reflect on what is most precious to us. What single thing stands in for a lost world? Is belonging defined in material terms? What if, in leaving, we can take nothing?

Please find here the link to the announcement on the website of the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach.

Curated by
Vanessa Agnew and Annika Roux

Photography by
Jobst von Kunowski