Developed with the University of East London’s Centre for Narrative Research, led by Prof Corinne Squire, this film tells the story of l’ Ecole du Chemin des Dunes (ELCD), in the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp, Calais.
The film shows the school’s situation in grassy wasteland, close to routes to the UK, highly policed, but protected by decorated fences and children’s murals. The soundtrack moves from the roar of traffic and wind, to the babble of voices inside. Title cards move the story from the ‘Jungle’ as a zoo, to ELCD as ‘Forum’, a space of democracy and hope.
Made in close consultation with ELCD teachers and pupils, the film tries to represent refugee issues in a new way. It foregrounds the written ‘voice’ of Zimako Jones, the refugee who founded and built ELCD, and the beauty of the school. It avoids picturing individuals, since revealing identities could be problematic. The film, like ELCD itself, aims at building knowledge and empowerment.