Blogs

Soft Power and Hotspot Life

The Lessons of Lesbos 2015 –18

9 year old J outside his compound, Moria RIC, Lesbos

A hotspot, to explain, is the idea of detaining arriving migrants and refugees at one spot for processing, the hotspot RIC (Reception and Identification Centre). It is another instrument to add to a growing collection for a common European asylum policy.

 

Published at Critical Legal Thinking. Read There.

Crossing the Trenches

The Jungle and its Contentions of the Image
Calais 2018

The dinner pack; verges of the Afghan Hospital jungle Calais April 2018

 

The image is the means by which we both avoid the Other and yet represent the Other. As the rights of movement in the global age demarcates who the Other is, a confrontation with the image becomes necessary to envisage a future based on an equal rights of movement. The Calais jungle over its two decades is a space that enables us to uncover the dimensions of that challenge and to cast another light on the entire edifice of our politics of representation.

 

Published at Critical Legal Thinking. Read There.

Trump tropes

Donald Trump in London, 6 versions, 13 July 2018
 

Trope#1

As a sort of finale to any interventionist or proxy war, there is the demand of the people to lay their hands on the body of the demagogue that intervention helped to free them from. The same logic seems to have subliminally sunk into the very centres of the powers of intervention. The lust for the body (of the Leader), at least symbolically, was more than apparent in the masses who greeted Donald Trump in London.

terra nullius Jules Ferry

Readings and Exhibits to mark the First Anniversary of the Destruction of the Jungle
Calais 2018

I. The Sudanese Quarters

 

terra nullius – Origin. Mid 19th century: Latin, literally “land belonging to no one,” from terra, earth, and nullius, genitive of nullus, no one.
There are spaces outside memory that belong to no-one or to nature, and there are places cast out of memory and returned to nature or to no-one. Across them there is an order, an order that brings together in time the ground, the territory, the space, the place, the land, the soil.

 

Published at Public Seminar. Read there.

The Workerant

In the unfolding drama of work in the digital age, new circumstance demands new language. Gig economy, on-demand work, sharing economy, precarious work, automation, zero-hour contracts, outsourcing, workfare. Whilst the entire stage set changes, the central character of the drama remains. The worker. If this indicates both a resilience yet a revisionism of the worker today, there is the need to probe the worker subject of the new economies through new ones. Thus here is the Workerant.

 

Published at Critical Legal Thinking. Read There.

Recovering Community (2)

Remembering the Jungle at Jules Ferry
Calais 2017

In its time at Jules Ferry, the Jungle crossed a threshold in the nature of its transgression as a political subject. This transgression was its establishment of community. What the Jungle came to embody in political form was a common project; common, that is, in two senses of the word. As a common space for the intersection of multiple social agencies and as the ground for community as being-in-common.

 

Published at Public Seminar. Read there.

Recovering Community (1)

Remembering the Jungle at Jules Ferry
Calais 2017

We know the scene; there is a gathering, and someone is telling a story. We do not yet know whether these people gathered together form an assembly, if they are a horde or a tribe. But we call them brothers and sisters because they are gathered together and because they are listening to the same story.
– Jean-Luc Nancy

 

The gathering is that of the undocumented; a mass gathering of ten thousand at the Calais Jungle – the migrant camp at Jules Ferry, itself a long abandoned children’s holiday camp just outside Calais, France. The story common to each of the ten thousand is the struggle for rights in displacement.

 

Published at Public Seminar. Read there.

The Republics of the Jungle

First published at Critical Legal Thinking. Read there.

The Jungle is not just a camp for the undocumented, it is also a social body and above all a political subject. The way it has evolved gives us insights into how the political problems that produced it can be resolved through the relationship between the Jungle and the Republic as subjects.

Darkness Visible

A New Years Eve at the Calais Jungle
with Black Sartre, White Fanon and friends.

First published at Critical Legal Thinking. Read There.

This is a recounting of a New Year’s eve night at the makeshift settlement known as the Calais ‘jungle’ that is the subject of so much media attention of late. A cold wet sludge of a jungle that’s home to some 6000 people, the migrants of Calais. The encounters over the course of the night blown through by wintry gusts offer another insight into why this jungle exists and the significance of its place in the contemporary colonial question.

The Jungle

Post revised December 2016 following demolition of Jules Ferry

Reading the Jungle through the word that names it. A sort of double reading on one of today's most misunderstood subjects. In its evolution the jungle in Calais is uniquely a 21st century political entity that defies easy categorisation. It fuses improvised modes of existence and production of precarious architectures to parallel new globalised realities of human relations. The Jungle, symbolic and real, is many things but we can use its naming as a guide to lead an understanding of its multiple facets.

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