Call me by my name: Stories from Calais and beyond
Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP
2 June – 22 June 2016 | 12pm–8pm (open every day)
‘Call me by my name’ is the latest exhibition by the Migration Museum Project, which is working to establish a permanent, dedicated migration museum for Britain, examining the role of migration to and from Britain throughout its history.
The Calais camp has become a potent symbol of Europe’s migration crisis. Public opinion on this ever-evolving shantytown and its inhabitants is polarised: to some a threatening swarm seeking entry to our already overstretched island-nation, to others a shameful symbol of our failed foreign policy. Amid such debate, it is easy to lose sight of the thousands of individuals who have found themselves in limbo in Calais, each with their own story and reasons for wanting to reach Britain.
Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond is a multimedia exhibition, taking place in a momentous month that sees both the EU referendum and Refugee Week. It explores the complexity and human stories behind the current migration crisis, with a particular focus on the Calais camp.
The exhibition features compelling works by established and emerging artists, refugees, camp residents and volunteers. These include a powerful new installation by award-winning artist Nikolaj Larsen, art by ALPHA using materials from the camp, art and photography by camp residents, drawings of Calais by illustrator Nick Ellwood, and an installation of lifejackets embedded with the stories of their wearers. It will serve as a forum for a range of discussions, film screenings and performances, including a poetry evening hosted by Michael Rosen. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to leave their responses, which will become part of an art piece by artist-in-residence, Cedoux Kadima.
“Visitors will journey physically and emotionally through the space, seeing refugees and migrants emerging from a nameless bunch to named individuals, neither victims nor angels but each with their own story to tell, and the Calais camp as a complex canvas city with an ever-evolving set of communities, challenges, tensions and opportunities,” says curator Sue McAlpine.
“We hope that visitors will come away with a heightened sense of empathy for the individuals behind the headlines, an enhanced understanding of the history and evolution of the Calais camp and broader migration developments, and questioning their response and responsibilities towards current refugee and migration developments.”
Call me by my name is the latest exhibition by the Migration Museum Project, which is working to establish a permanent, dedicated migration museum for Britain, examining the role of migration to and from Britain throughout its history.
“With the Calais camp right on our doorstep and migration issues currently front-page news, we feel that it’s vital for us to examine contemporary developments as part of the long, important story of migration to and from Britain,” says Sophie Henderson, director of the Migration Museum Project.
“We are a museum, not a campaigning political organisation, so the aim of this exhibition is to encourage reflection and debate, not to to tell people what the response to such a complex set of circumstances should be. Our events and exhibitions across the UK over the past three years have shown us that people tend to think differently about one another once they know each other’s stories, and think differently about current circumstances when they are placed in historical context.”
Events associated with this exhibition:
Birds Crossing Borders drop in art workshop, 4 June 2016, 2 -4 pm
Poetry of Migration, 6 June 2016, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
What is Britishness? 14 June 2016, 7 – 9 pm