Visualizing the Invisible “Jungle” of Calais: Migration, Security, and Infrastructure at the French-English Border
Opening reception on Septemeber 20th, 2018 at 5pm – 7pm.
Eric Leleu is an independent documentary photographer based in Northern France. He began his career as a documentary photographer in Shanghai in 2005, where he lived and worked until 2016. For the past thirteen years, Leleu has documented China’s changing urban landscapes and the way people use, transform, and play with their new and old environments. He also documented the craft of political propaganda and the many forms political communications take in China. He developed a body of personal work that blurs the boundaries between art and documentary, as well as reality and fiction. Today, he works in his home region where he is currently restoring the farm he grew up in and that he has been documenting for a long time. Leleu is currently using the buildings of his farm to create a photo gallery and a community center where farm produce will be sold. La Musette – Leleu’s farm – will open in 2019.
In 2017, he started to photograph the growing security infrastructure – border walls, flooded zones, watchtowers – meant to deter refugees and migrants from settling in Calais, France. In the meantime, he documents the Calais “jungles” – or makeshift camps – where people who risk their lives to cross the English Channel on a daily basis and where new solidarities emerge between migrants and a local population that was itself shaped by centuries of immigration. Working with anthropologist Vincent Joos, they plan to do long-term field work on both sides of the Strait of Dover.
Eric Leleu has published in the New York Times, The Guardian, Wirtschaft Woche, Madame Figaro, Le Monde, Le Courrier International and has held exhibitions in Asia and Europe.
This exhibition is an inTransit project. inTransit has partnered with the John Hope Franklin Center, the Nasher Museum of Arts, the Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke Libraries, and the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies’ Observatory on Europe.
inTransit is sponsored by the departments of Romance Studies and Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; by the French and Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the Duke Center for French and Francophone Studies; the Center for International and Global Studies and; the Social Practice Lab of the Franklin Humanities Institute.
inTransit has also benefited from an Intellectual Communities grant from the Provost’s Office, and an Arts and Sciences Council Research grant; support from the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Office of the Dean of the Humanities, the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation, the Duke Human Rights Archive, the Duke Africa Initiative, and the Puffin Foundation.