Representing the Calais ‘Jungle’
Sat 28 January, 3 - 5:30pm
A tour and book launch with photographer and activist Gideon Mendel. Part of his powerful exhibition Dzhangal, an alternative view of the Calais ‘Jungle’.
We begin with a guided tour led by the artist in conversation with art historians Christine Eyene and Dominique Malaquais. Mendel will reflect on the challenges and sensitivities faced in conducting a collaborative documentary project with residents at the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. He will expand on why this led him to collect, assemble and photograph objects between May and October 2016, and how these objects evoke complex stories.
After the tour we will be joined by anthropologist Georgie Wemyss and refugee project coordinator Robert Lloyd to discuss urgent and wide-reaching questions of forced migration as well as the role and ethics of image making in representing displaced lives.
The audience is invited to join the discussion in a Q&A session and we conclude the afternoon with a launch for Mendel’s new photography book Dzhangal, published by Gost Books to accompany the exhibition.
The book includes 80 pages of images along with writing by residents of the 'Jungle' camp - community organiser 'Africa', student and writer Babak Inaloo, artist 'Mani' and teacher Shaheen Ahmed Wali – as well as texts by author and broadcaster Paul Mason and art historian Dominique Malaquais.
Part of the exhibition
About the speakers
Gideon Mendel (b. 1959, Johannesburg, South Africa) is a leading contemporary photographer, whose intimate style of image-making and long-term commitment to projects, has earned him international recognition and many awards, including the Pollock Prize for Creativity. He is renowned for his work as a ‘struggle photographer’ and his 20-year photographic odyssey on the impact of HIV/AIDS. This project culminated with the publication in 2001 of his first book, A Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa. Mendel has been occupied with ‘Drowning World’ since 2007, an art and advocacy project about flooding that is his personal response to climate change. It was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Prize 2015.
Christine Eyene is an art historian, curator and writer based in London. She has been researching modern and contemporary South African art since the late 1990s, specialising in the story of artists in exile during Apartheid and their cultural interactions with the Black Diaspora in France and England. She is currently writing a thesis on the work of South African photographer George Hallett in relation to African literature and image/material. As a Research Fellow at the University of Central Lancashire she works on Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual art research project based at UCLan's Centre for Contemporary Art. As part of this role, she manages a collection of Hallett prints and develops international exhibitions highlighting the relevance of MHV archive within contemporary art practice. She has contributed essays and articles to art books, exhibition catalogues and art journals including African Arts, Africultures, Art South Africa, Camera Austria, Manifesta Journal and Third Text. As a curator, her projects and collaborations include: Murder Machine, Ormston House, Limerick, part of EVA International (2016); Curators’ Series # 8: All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2015); WHERE WE’RE AT! Other Voices on Gender, BOZAR, Brussels, part of Summer of Photography (2014); Gideon Mendel: Drowning World, Tiwani Contemporary, London (2013).
An art historian based in Paris, Dominique Malaquais is a senior researcher at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and co-director, with Kadiatou Diallo, of the experimental curatorial platform SPARCK (Space for Pan-African Research, Creation and Knowledge). Her work addresses intersections between political violence, economic inequity and the making of urban cultures in the late capitalist present. Recent projects include an edited volume on exchanges between cities of Africa and Asia as effected through the visual arts, literature, urbanism and spirituality (Afrique-Asie: arts, espaces, pratiques, with Nicole Khouri, published in 2016) and Archive (re)mix (2015), a collection of essays on the production of art, visual and textual, as a vehicle for exploring archival materials and techniques, co-edited with Maëline Le Lay and Nadine Siegert. Malaquais sits on the editorial board of several journals and reviews (Chimurenga, Politique africaine, Savvy, among others) and is Past President of ACASA, the Arts Council of the African Studies Association.
Georgie Wemyss is Co-Director at the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London. As an anthropologist she has long interdisciplinary experience in the fields of migration, postcolonial nationalism, ‘race’ and belonging and is the author of The Invisible Empire: white discourse, tolerance and belonging' (Routledge) based on her ethnographic research in East London. As part of the EUBORDERSCAPES project, she carried out ethnographic research on the Dover/Calais border looking at evolving concepts of state borders in Europe.
Robert Lloyd is Young Refugee Advocacy Coordinator, Kent for the British Red Cross. He works with unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young refugees, coordinating projects to support new arrivals from The Jungle, Calais with settling in the UK. He provides information on rights and entitlements in the U.K, as well as teaching a range of classes including independent living skills and British cultural attitudes. Rob is the son of an Iranian refugee, grew up in UK and studied BA Hons in Politics with International Relations and History at Exeter and MLitt in International Security Studies at St Andrews.
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