Global Street seminar with Luca Queirolo Palmas
An ethnographic return to Calais
Speekers: Luca Queirolo Palmas (University of Genoa – Laboratory of Visual Sociology), Hanane Idihia (University of Paris Saclay – Center Pierre Naville)
Discussant: Sophie Djigo, author of Les migrants de Calais : Enquête sur la vie en transit, 2016
In October 2016, we documented the dismantling of the Calais cosmopolis as filmmakers and ethnographers. At that time, we wanted to map how an informal city, built while waiting to go somewhere else and vanish, was captured by a state measures of shelter, intertwining compassion and repression. One year after the dispersal of this collective force, made of refugees and those in transit, shocking by its ability to build spaces at the margin of the law, Calais remains a seminal step on the road to exile. Everything and nothing has changed. The big informal city is no longer there but the refugees are still coming, living in the crack, those whore are solitary are criminalized, while police presence and civic measures of urban ostracism aimed obstinately at preventing solidarity from creating a settling of individuals and a pull effect. We went back to our field one year later, questioning the transformations and the planning of the urban space given the daily resistance of refugees to the border regime.