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Thursday 31st March 2022

The last day of March was a bitterly cold and windy day in Paris. This was particularly poignant, as the French law protecting tenants from being evicted during winter is lifted on April 1st.

At the CEDRE, the teams of Art Refuge and the volunteers of Café Papote were holding a space that was particularly wired. The Community Table seemed like an anchor that safeguarded the general atmosphere.

The resources - the map, typewriters, poetry books or a 50s geographic manual - allowed peoples’ minds to wander to other times and places. Plasticine was used to make animals, sandals, tables and cups, Eritrean poetry was recited, there were discussions about ancient Egypt, the different colours of diamonds, or the perils of living in Sierra Leone.

A miniature pair of carefully made sandals seemed to take a little tour around the world, settling in different postcard scenes before moving on to the next place... their maker taking pleasure in carefully constructing and photographing each scene.

One man slowly and patiently constructed a building through the three hours that he called The Mediatheque of Mauritania, complete with miniature books and a signed manual : ‘Please respect others and yourself. Respect women. Respect children. Respect the rules of the Mediatheque. Thank you.’

Kate France and Naomi Press in Paris

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