Exhibition Introduction

What is migration?

Migration is when people move from one place to another. People may migrate from one country to another, or within the same country. Migrations can be temporary or permanent, voluntary or forced.

People Have Always Been on the Move


Since the first humans began moving from Africa to other parts of the world 250,000 years ago, we have never stopped moving.

We move today for many of the same reasons our ancestors moved: sometimes voluntarily, sometimes against our will, and often for a complicated mix of reasons. We move to support ourselves and our loved ones, to be with friends and family, and to escape danger.

Moving brings many changes: It transforms language, culture, ideas, food, music, and technology. It reshapes political systems and redraws borders. Moving also changes us. It alters our sense of who we are and where we belong.

By understanding where we come from, why we move, and how moving changes us, we can better understand who we are and where we are going.