The town of Paris went into lockdown again on October 30th, along with the rest of France. From November 12th to December 1st, 2020, Jungleye was granted permission to join the “Maison des Réfugiés” to meet the 280 inhabitants of the Jourdan emergency accommodation center in Paris.
The pandemic and the confinement imposed on us all isolate us from our social ties and prevent us from moving and living freely. This situation, which is exceptional for us, raises our awareness of the reality of exiles, undocumented migrants, asylum seekers, forced to move away (geographic, social and family), to restricted and controlled circulation. We are interested in this vital moment when the gazes become horizontal. We all dream, whatever our origins, of exodus, once our freedom of movement is limited to an imposed perimeter. On Christmas Eve and in a context where the entire population suffers from uncertainty about the possibility of meeting with their family for the holidays, we underline the permanent impossibility for the exiles to be with their loved ones.
We offer participants a « family reunification » with the creation of postcards. To our question: “Where would you go if you could get out of your 4 walls or even 4m2? » Residents reconnect with places, with their landmark, with the people they left behind.
A photo studio with a Chroma background has been set up for those who want to join their loved one for a photo. We also do in situ private portraits that will be inserted into archived photos taken from the participants’ cell phones or drawers.
The chroma invites escape, the inclusion of archived photos with the portraits brings realities closer together from the intimacy and provides us with valuable information about the identity and feelings of these people often invisible from public space. It generates a feeling of empathy.
The treatment of color gives the photographic inlay a poetic touch that transcends the collage and moves away from the archival image.
The creation of a pantone from images of the Covid-19 molecule underlines the context, reframes or even frames the image and the imaginary we have of migrants and undocumented migrants. A pantone color coincides with that of the CHU premises. This is the Couleur Chartreuse, synonyms of bad reputation, travel, illness and hope. Thus, the frame acquires a force that moves away from the drama the confinement has left in society. We mark an emotional stop that helps us reflect on the experiences of the people photographed in a moment so conducive to introspection. The manipulation of the image is intended to generate critical thinking in the service of solidarity with this collective often “stared at” in the media.
Results and Impact.
Finally 17 postcards will be produced, unique objects, with their little words from the feathers of the participants. They will all be sent to their recipient either by post or through social networks. This moment of sharing will have a positive impact on the recipients, whether they are the participants or their relatives, but also on the House of Refugees which will re-open its premises for the realization of Yoga and sewing workshops in mid-December after the success of our initiative.
International Migrants Day
December 18 is International Migrants Day. On this occasion, the 17 postcards produced during the workshop were printed in 1750 copies by EMMAÜS Solidarité, the NGO leading the «Refugee House» project. Becoming awareness-raising tools, hundreds of postcards were sent to Parisians and local elected officials to initiate a dialogue on the guarantee of the rights of exiled people.
Echoing this initiative, we exhibited these 17 unique postcards in large formats in the streets of the hyper- center of Marseille and Nantes. Free-standing billboards have become the medium of this free and self- produced exhibition in the eyes of many passers-by. In these times of pandemic during which culture is becoming inaccessible, we resist the closure of museums, exhibition halls and all cultural places by appropriating public space and bringing culture to the streets.