Losing and finding home: refugee history, memory and culture | University of East Anglia
Borderline is a satire of the Calais Jungle devised by an ensemble of refugee and European performers, and directed by Sophie NL Besse. This brave and original take on a controversial topic features seven refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria, who experienced Calais first-hand, and six British, French and Chilean experts in physical comedy. Borderline highlights the absurd aspects of European border control and of the asylum regime. It also reveals a side of the ‘Jungle’ camp that is rarely seen: the camaraderie, resilience and ingenuity of its inhabitants.
The play will be followed by a Q&A with the cast. The organisation Protection Approaches will then run a workshop focussing on the individual stories of those who have experienced identity-based violence. The workshop will investigate these stories through interactive activities and role play. This event is for students from local schools.
Protestimony is a visual and interactive art exhibition that aims to communicate an alternative story of the ‘refugee crisis’. Using artworks and other material created by refugees who lived in the Calais Jungle, it challenges the dehumanising anti-refugee and migrant language of mainstream media.
The exhibition features artworks and other materials including paintings, documentaries, animations, sculptures and illustrations, alongside interactive art projects developed and delivered by former Jungle residents. These artworks are displayed in reconstructed shelters from the Jungle, which hint at the conditions many refugees lived in for months on end. Asking visitors what it might mean to ‘be a refugee’, it suggests there is no simple ‘truth’ about the refugee crisis, and demonstrates the challenges of representing refugees today.
Protestimony also offers visitors the chance to think about the work of the volunteer organisations that operated in the Jungle, and reminds visitors that this crisis is re-emerging in Calais. Protestimony is run by the organisation IMAGINE.
On the Bride’s Side is a timely look at the refugee crisis. Winner of Venice International Film Festival’s Human Rights Nights Award, it is an unexpected take on the immigrant road movie. In this film, a Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who have fled the war in Syria. They help them complete their journey to Sweden by faking a wedding. With one friend dressed up as the bride, and others dressed as wedding guests, they cross half of Europe on a four-day journey of three thousand kilometres.
This film will be shown as part of Cinema City’s ‘Reels of History’ series, in conjunction with Cinema City education. It will be introduced by the UEA Refugee History team and will be followed by a Q&A with Salah El Nagar, a Norwich-based writer, activist and refugee from Egypt, whose work challenges misconceptions about Islam and promotes freedom and human rights.
This is a Question Time-style event in which politicians, journalists, academics, refugees and third sector organisations address local and national refugee questions. It’s hard to pin down clear facts and explanations about the current refugee situation, so in this event the audience’s queries and concerns about asylum seeking will be answered by Clive Lewis MP (Norwich South), journalist Rachel Shabi, investigative author Daniel Trilling, campaigner and refugee Ahmad Al-Rashid and Omar Khan from the Runnymede Trust.