Northwestern Events Calendar


Departmental Lecture Series: "Art in the Jungle"

When: Friday, February 19, 2016
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Rm. (#201), 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Prof. Doris Garraway   (847) 491-8255

Group: Department of French and Italian

Category: Academic


"Art in the Jungle": Envisioning Refugees in the Calais Camp

With Debarati Sanyal

Professor of French, University of California, Berkeley


This talk will examine visual representations of refugees in northern France. Today there are about 4,000 "migrants" amassed in tents on sixteen acres of Calais. As I write this abstract, bulldozers are tearing them down, yet again. Most of these refugees hope to cross into the United Kingdom and its promise of more hospitable conditions. How do we read this borderscape, designated as Calais's " jungle"? Since World War Two, and especially in France, the "concentrationary" is a key category for understanding spaces of detention. Such spaces are often read in light of a state of exception that strips subjects of rights and exposes them as bare life (as in the emblematic Nazi camp). This talk hopes to nuance the analogy of Calais as camp and its corollary view of the refugee as an apolitical body under biopolitical management. An analysis of experimental films by Sylvain George (Qu'ils reposent en révolte, Les Éclats) as well as current photography and video will consider strategies of subjectivation, resistance, agency and solidarity at work within Calais's jungle.

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