Uprooted is an exhibition curated by artist and curator Euan Gray.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are currently 126,072 refugees and 45,244 pending asylum cases in the United Kingdom. There are a number of routes to resettlement in the United Kingdom but many have made the long journey across Europe by land. Of those, a number have spent time in the ‘Jungle’ or similar camps around Calais - the U.K. National border with mainland Europe.
The 'Jungle' existed from March 2015 to its demolition in 2016. It was situated on a contaminated former landfill site on the Eastern edge of Calais and at its height, over 10,000 people lived in the camp. For many, living in the camps was a troubling experience but for others, the camp offered a ‘home’ and a place of refuge.
Through photography, film, drawing and painting, the exhibition highlights visually aspects of life in the ‘Jungle’ and other informal border camps that existed and continue to exist around Calais. It also considers the wider context of the U.K. border and the difficulties faced by those trying to reach Britain.
Many of the works have been created directly by individuals living in the camps during their stay. Other works have been produced by photojournalists, artists and activists visiting the camp or reflecting on the situation from further afield. Each piece bears witness to human resilience, creativity and a sense of hope.
Uprooted can be seen in the Park Gallery, Callendar House daily except Tuesdays, from Sat 1 Feb - Sun 17 May.
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