Standing on the threshold of Europe - participative video in Paris and Warsaw
Video stills. Copyright Anu Pennanen and Avanton/AvenueB Productions.
What is it?
Standing on the threshold of Europe
is a transnational project that promotes understanding and combating exclusion against migrants and populations identified as migrants in the countries (or ‘2nd generation’ migrants). It involves partners in Paris (Europe et Altérités), Warsaw (Foundation Diversity
) and London (European Alternatives).
The project combines analysis of the situation of exclusion in these three cities and their respective countries during public events and exhibitions of art works produced in collaboration with or by young people and migrants.
Its objective is to promote understanding of the issues migrants face across Europe
and to provide them an opportunity to relate or express their experience.
Who is it for?
The projects targets both people who are interested by and want to understand migration. It involves migrants and children of migrants themselves. Public Events are free and open to all.
The return of the Slums
: Discussions and debates, 3rd of May 2010, Archives départementales de Bobigny Precarious housing has been increasing in ‘western Europe’ in the last few years: overcrowded flats are one form of them, illegal settlements are another: What does this mean for the contemporary city? What type of actions is possible to make these situations liveable? As a introduction the movie “Les enfants des courants d'air : parcours d'immigrés à la plaine St Denis"
d'Edouard Luntz was presented.
These images provided the background to discuss the various forms of precarious housing in the current cities and the possibility for action in Europe to ensure decent housing conditions to all. The roundtable discussion aimed at answering 3 main questions: What are today the various forms of precarious housing? How can it be tackled at the European level? What are innovative forms for accommodating homeless people? The discussion gathered activists, academics and artists, such as Julien Damon, Associate professor at Sciences-Po, Christophe Robert from the Fondation Abbé Pierre, Annie Pourre from the NO-VOX Network, Nathalie Simonnot from Médecins du Monde, Debora Guidetti from EPIM (European Programme for Integration and Migration) and Francesco Careri from Stalker.
The collective Stalker “proposes experimental strategies for intervention founded on exploratory spatial practices, using playful, convivial, and interactive tactics that relate to an environment, its inhabitants and their local culture. ». They presented pictures showing the new settlements built kilometres away from the city to accommodate the Roma population.
Stalker presented its video on the project ‘The house of everyone’
. In a Roma settlement, with the support of the architect/artists collective the settlers built themselves a wooden house, at very low cost (5000 euros). This proved that there are solutions to provide beautiful, sustainable and comfortable housing for the populations. More info
Spaces of consumption and capitalism and exclusion in the city
, 6 May 2010
is a Finnish artist who works with non professional actors, in a process in which they play an active role. Her movies are inspired by their stories and represent some of their feelings as regard to the cities they live in. In a trilogy she presented in Paris, she has worked on the new forms of the city. She introduced her movies on Helsinki (A monument for the invisible), Tallinn and Paris (Les Halles,unfinished)
Campaigning for Migrant rights in Europe
The event took place at European Commission Representation in London, on the 10th May 2010 This civil society seminar discussed the situation of migrants throughout Europe and looking at means of campaigning for migrant rights at the EU level. Speakers included Don Flynn (Migrant Rights Network
), Andy Gregg (LASA)
Preparatory visit for the event in Warsaw: meeting with French NGOs and screening of polish movies
Representatives of the Foundation Forum for Social Diversity and of European Alternatives traveled to Paris between 22-26 October. The Forum for Social Diversity presented one film that was created as part of the project (depicting a group of Polish and Ukrainians who meet regularly to sing together and exchange about Ukrainian traditional songs), during an event that gathers about 35 representatives from various parts of Europe. Information and photographs were also shown from a recent demonstration of undocumented migrants that took place in Warsaw shortly before the meeting in Paris (which is the subject of another that is currently being produced). The questions and comments from European Alternatives members were valuable to the further plans for the films and their presentation. The European Alternatives members' questions and comments made it clear that while most of the films will present a European dimension of migration (or even universal issues related to the experience of migration), a few of them will not and will need additional explanation.
During the meeting, the EA also presented a film that had been created about recent strikes against financial reform that took place in London. Besides the presentation of the films and discussion, the Forum for Social Diversity and EA met with two French organizations: the CIMADE and the Association SOS Rasism. During these meetings, the organizations presented their work and experience in supporting migrants. These meetings provided an opportunity to also discuss future collaborative activities. A visit to the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration also provided the opportunity to meet with the ‘sans papiers’ currently occupying the Hall of the museum as a protest against their situation.
Videos are currently being screened in Warsaw and Paris that will be presented during public events in December 2010.
The next exchange visit is planned for December 2010 when representatives of the EA will take part in the Forum's events organized on the International Migrants' Day (18 December). During this time, the EA will also have an opportunity to visit Polish organizations fghting againsts discriminations and for gender equality in Poland.
of presentation of videos in Paris and Warsaw - The best videos from Paris will be presented in Warsaw, with the participation of the authors. The project is supported by the European Commission
and Allianz Cultural Foundation