About the project
In October 2016, a team of writers, photographers, illustrators and animators of the Medex (Ephemeral Museum of Exile) visited the Katsikas camp in north-western Greece. Even though it was short-lived (less than a week), the little time spent there was enough to understand how useful we can be in such an environment.
We initially made contact with camp residents and conducted a variety of activities and workshops with the cooperation of independent volunteers who operate the camp. Particularly with Giovanni Fontana, the coordinator of the camp, and the German NGO 'Soup and Socks' which manages the Fab-Lab (support and creation center) which is just outside the camp.
During these few days, we have forged ties with the camp residents, mainly children and young teenagers, through creative activities such as painting, poetry ... We even made some beautiful colourful kites! The experience was so satisfying that we want to go back to the camp, but this time for a longer period. We plan to go there for a month: from January 4th to February 4th, 2017. We will have time to do a lot of activities and, above all, to establish deeper links with the residents of the camp.
The outcome of this project will be:
- The exhibition and publication of the works made with the residents of the camp of Katsikas
- A series of conferences and events on the theme of migration, integration and(s) art to be held in Brussels and Paris
- To organize daily workshops and activities with the kids of the camp;
- To integrate adults in a long-term activity plan, with the goal of having a final product such as a booklet, a short movie and/or an exhibition, good for raising awareness to a larger public on the theme of migration;
- To support the work of Soup and Socks, the German NGO that provides daily activities to the residents of the camp
a) Activities with kids
Working with kids is one of the most challenging, yet interesting things. It is certainly easier to earn kids’ trust and to influence them. Hence, it is important to be extremely careful whenever organizing activities. The main activities will be done using and stimulating their creativity, always focusing on the very cooperation between children and the non-marginalisation of any.
b) Activities with adults
Engaging adults takes more time and requires a greater effort. The trusting process is prolonged and long-term activities are required to give a sense of concreteness to the inhabitants. Activities such as creative writing, poetry, music, photography or video-making can be more stimulating for adults, who have a lower agency and a more passive approach to their time, due to the procedure process: they cannot work and, above all, they do not have any near perspective and no trust in Europe’s help. Our goal is to create a space where they can express themselves, talking or write knowing that there is going to be somebody who will listen and read.
The MEDEX (Ephemeral Museum of Exile) is a Belgian NGO that mainly operates on the integration of the asylum seeker using art as active device (poetry, illustration, performances) and self-expression. Created in 2014, our aim is to create a network and establish a certain extent of trust with the newly arrived in Brussels, helping them to better integrate in the local society through the use of art. Visit us at: http://www.medexmuseum.com/
Art Without Borders (AWB) is a collective born in 2016 of artists working on social issues. The whole work of AWB has been founded on the idea to bring together people with similar social and artistic sensibilities, looking to dedicate their time and talent, in order to create artworks around social and humanitarian issues. Visit us at: https://awbcollective.wordpress.com/
Jungleye The Jungleye association is a participatory photography project founded in November 2015 by the photographer Séverine Sajous and the architect Julie Brun, in the Calais refugee camp in France nicknamed "La Jungle". Through the playful learning of photography, migrants "reveal" their own experiences. These touching, hard, fun, even comical photographs are made into postcards, each commented by his photographer. This double narration allows them, a little bit, to unload their emotions and to reveal the marginalized look that they carry on the world. This "migratory" support dedramatizes the exile by giving it an ironic "touristy" touch. The postcards, nicknamed "Wish we weren't here", recreate a visual memory of their life’s journey. In a socio-political context that is sensitive to migration issues, these cards make it possible to take a first step towards the Other, at a distance, like a correspondence. In March 2016, Jungleye migrated from Calais to the Zweibrücken refugee camp in Germany. The postcards that are made there echo those made in jungle: here, "We have lot of work", "We are warm". A dialogue between people - whether migrating or not - through postcards hatched. To retrace this transitive memory of exile from Europe back to the countries of origin is then obvious. From June to August 2016, Jungleye travels between Greece and Lebanon. Our next objective: to catch a glimpse of the evolution of hopes, expectations, frustrations, and imaginaries in (de)construction.
Visit us at : Facebook.com/Jungleye-1685383875041393/