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Until June 22 there is an extraordinary exhibition of art, sculpture,photographs, documents, multi media and sound on the Calais jungle migrant camp.. It is at the London Newcastle Arts Project Space in Shoreditch,London.
© Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen
The exhibition tells the story of the huge migration from the Middle East, Afghanistan, and North Africa to Calais and the people involved.It is probably the biggest issue in the whole of Europe today.
It is both a harrowing and uplifting showing the strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity. There are evil people, neo Fascists,nasty people smugglers, and thugs who exploit and deride them but there are also many ,many caring human beings who are prepared to help them on their way to a better, safer life.
What is extraordinary about this exhibition is that much of the art comes from the very people themselves as a way of expressing their own plight. And the squalid Jungle is a place where people play music, dance, paint,cook,and create as well try to survive.
Everyone who has any humanity should see this exhibition – especially the people who denigrate them as hordes or swarms of people. They are people like them. It is antidote to the crass debate on Brexit.
And denying them a safe haven is also denying our country the benefit of their enormous talents – many are highly educated and many have discovered new talents on the way. Worse the plight of unaccompanied children aged from 8 to 14 or 15 is something this country cannot ignore – and thanks to the efforts of Alf Dubs ( Lord Dubs) who pushed Theresa May, the home secretary, to allow them to come in – there is some hope for a few now. But there needs to be more.
At a very moving reception where the organisers- through the Migration Museum Project – was attended by asylum seekers – and some who had managed to be smuggled into Britain. They mingled with students, artists and campaigners looking at the exhibits.
Museums and art centres in Britain you should thinking of staging this exhibition so the people across the United Kingdom can see the whole story. How about some of you rising to the challenge.