Geneva Heritage Lab

7 décembre 2023 - 19 janvier 2024. Renaître dans la guerre. Louhansk. Un musée déplacé.

At the heart of this exhibition is the Regional History Museum in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, where a devastating war has been raging since 2014.

Contrary to the clichés condemning museums as dusty places where old, forgotten objects slowly perish, this exhibition tells a different story. The Luhansk region is at the heart of the conflict, and its residents have experienced first-hand the changing lines that separate past and present. Questioning the nature of regional identity and its representations – which is the very essence of this museum – is of particular importance, which has taken on a new depth due to the circumstances.

The visitors will discover this story through the eyes and voices of the people shaping the Museum in the context of war, as well as those who are now dedicated to giving it a second life. Moved twice, condemned to the loss of its physical location and collections, the Museum has been perpetually reinvented. Despite its material instability, it has persisted as a space of memory and reflections focused on the future.


This exhibition was born from a co-creation process between the Luhansk Regional History Museum, the Geneva Heritage Lab (University of Geneva), and the Department of Contemporary History of the University of Fribourg.

At the University of Geneva, it is presented in the context of the work of Geneva Heritage Lab with the University of Geneva Rectorat, Maison de l’histoire and other partners on the different dimensions of university heritage.

The international OBMIN Foundation, which offers a support platform for Ukrainian museums affected by the war, and the Gerda Henkel Stiftung provided valuable support to enable professionals from the Luhansk Museum to collaborate in the preparation of this exhibition. We are also grateful to the Fonds général de l'Université de Genève, the Délégation intégration de l’Université de Genève, the Salle d'exposition de l'UNIGE, and the Institute of Environmental Governance and Territorial Development (GEDT).

22 mai 2023
  Geneva Heritage Lab