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Heroic Makers vs. Heroic Land: Restoring humanity in Calais' Jungle

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Time: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Venue: Room 1001, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free
Speaker(s): Isabelle Arvers

Heroic Makers vs. Heroic Land: Restoring humanity in Calais' Jungle

French artist and curator Isabelle Arvers, who uses video game art to give voice to marginalised populations, will present her work in the context of the Department of Criminology and Sociology's Seminar Series session.

Arvers says of her work: 'In this talk I will present a work in progress artistic project based on interviews and fieldwork with refugees living in the ‘jungle' camp of Calais, France. The project is a machinima documentary I am making by using the engines of video games to represent the spaces, people and voices that shape life in the camp. The question I ask myself, what I want to understand, is how to live in the jungle, how to restore its humanity, how to create spaces for living and sharing together. How to do the work of a government that shuns it, that refuses to see the urgency of the situation, that focuses instead on "reducing" the number of immigrants in Calais. In a little less than a year together, and with the help of numerous French and especially British NGOs, the refugees of the jungle have built what has become a city-world, populated by places of worship, shops, services, restaurants, schools, galleries, cultural spaces. These everyday heroes are not only able to meet most community needs, they introduce a fledgling political model, based on decisions made from the representative of each community present, which are heard by NGOs, with all due respect to the needs, expectations and voices of the residents. The jungle's biggest irony is the mayor of Calais' "big project" to rebrand her city by creating a 275 million euro amusement park called Heroic Land-a theme park inspired by the world of video games, manga and heroic fantasy with total contempt for the true heroes, those who find solutions to the oh-so-complex problems of migration and transit zones. For this reason I chose the medium of video games to translate my interviews of these jungle residents and give them another dimension.'

This event is open to everybody.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Nick Mai
Email: N.Mai@kingston.ac.uk

Directions

Directions to Room 1001, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:

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