As the Art Refuge UK team arrived in Calais this week, the remaining women and children left the Jules Ferry centre in the camp; moving on to CAO’s around France. We took a quiet walk through the empty landscape that until so recently has held home for so many thousands of people.
Walking around a desolate and very changed landscape our thoughts were with those who inhabited this space and the many people we have built connections with through our work in the camp. As bulldozers and diggers continue to move through the sand, we reflected on the huge shifts we have witnessed in the camp; the different environments that evolved, the spaces we have worked within, and the homes, shelters and places of gathering that were created here.
Our work this week involved archiving a huge amount of incredible art works that have been made in the sessions over the last 16months of work here in Calais. The determination to continue to make art throughout times of extreme uncertainty, loss and sometimes violence, is huge testament to the power of people’s creativity, resilience and hope.
As we continued to follow up with visits and connections to both adults and young people we have been working with in the camp, we prepared art materials for our ongoing work in France. Next week we shall begin a new phase of partnership work with Medecins du Monde in the Dunkirk camp. With so many fantastic postcards filled with beautiful messages ready for inspiration we look forward to updating you on our work!
Thank you for such kind and generous support.