The Jungle Bill

    This SPACE proposed by Florence Parot for the Dirty Art Department has a social and political dimension, destined to involve students in the global migrant crisis and launching artistic and social intervention as a GESTE. The Jungle Bill could be an open frame of self-uprising, a mental and physical space to comment the world, to debate together about the role of arts in political protest. Can political art be good art, can good art be political? How effective is politicized art and the artists who make it? What exactly does art do in demonstration of political protest?
    These are some of the issues I would like to address, even to express with you. Art and artistic expression serve many functions in political protest, some of them aimed at producing knowledge and solidarity within the group of protesters and others as a means of communicating to those outside what the protest is all about.

    The Calais jungle is the nickname given to a refugee encampment in the vicinity of Calais where migrants live while they attempt to enter the United Kingdom. The migrants, who frequently stow away on lorries, ferries, cars or trains travelling through the port of Calais of the Eurotunnel terminal, are a mixture of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. The “jungle” has no fixed location with migrants setting up camp on unoccupied land and moving to new locations when camps are closed down.

    The project allows the group of students to move between real-world circumstances and science-fictional representations of dislocation, refugee-ism, and nomadic, up rootedness, permanent non-permanence. What happens to identity when traditional moorings such as nationality, locality, and familiar-ity are disrupted or removed? What opportunities are eliminated and which ones arise when a life is led only in transit, only in a legislative dead-zone between, outside of, within the margins of, in parallel to, a place. Which economies can be ‘tapped into’, and which ones can’t? How does one live with dignity in desperate, or unconventional circumstances? How does one survive, even thrive in permanent flux?