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—without ever taking into account the dignity of those in transit, who seek not asylum but to cross the Channel to the UK as soon as possible… 
 
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… 

Isabelle Arvers

Athens Photo Festival 2016
Main Programme

[Refugee Routes]

Isabelle Arvers (FR)
Heroic Makers vs Heroic Land

Duration: 9 June – 31 July, 2016

Venue: Benaki Museum, Pireos St. Annexe

Opening hours: Thursday & Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00, Friday & Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00