This exhibition reassembles material and visual culture that survives from the migrant encampment, the ‘Jungle’, as it existed at Calais from March 2015 to the demolitions of 2016.
The exhibition aims to make visible the landscape of ‘borderwork’ at Calais. These range from photographs and artworks made by displaced people and undocumented children to images made by activists and artists, and from the Calais cross salvaged from the Orthodox Church at the ‘Jungle’ to a fragment of border fencing. The exhibition includes a new commission, برد خواهد را ما باد (The Wind Will Take Us Away), by Majid Adin.
Everything on display is on temporary loan from displaced people, activists and volunteers who lived and worked at the ‘Jungle’ three years ago. Through these loans the hope is to create some small duration for ephemeral things, artworks and images that have been kept, each object bearing witness to human precarity, resistance, creativity, and hope.
Our national borders and anthropology museums are both Victorian technologies of classification. They were designed to forge differences between people. But both are also unfinished and open-ended (post)colonial enterprises. This exhibition experiments with the ethnographic museum, using the lens of ‘contemporary archaeology’ to make visible untold stories. Reassembling images, objects, environments and words from the near-past, it bears witness to the ongoing human experiences of displaced people at the UK national border at Calais.