[-empyre-] detention camps

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Feb 9 06:58:20 AEDT 2016



dear all

we are lagging behind it seems, language and comparisons are not so good,
or is the 'learning kit' becoming too complex? xenophobia and human nature?
did not bring our pencils?

surely during and after world war 2 it was massively complex too, 
coping with the flood of forced migrations, displacement, flight, 
the shoah an unspeakable horror;  militarization, cold war, neocolonial
deals, foreign economic and strategic interest in the middle east,
the consequences are with the former west, and to some extent current refugee crises
also caused by this former west.  

my small question:  i can't find any solace in Karen Arvers's idealized
description of (am I the only one who shudders at the term?) "the Jungle"
at Calais. Obviously i can't speak to your experience, Karen, it may have been radically different
from mine when I stopped at the camp in September. You went to teach machinima
workshops with your laptop? where would you plug in?  

After I had passed on to the UK and started to gather information (before the French authorities in January tried to
bulldoze part of the camp after moving the refugees to what you call "white, unhuman
containers"? yes I heard that the camp people resisted and proclaimed they prefered their Jungle
but the unhuman containers had heat, electricty, water and toilets), 
the reports were horrifying to me, about the people living in the mud in cold tents
in the winter, on rat infested soggy grounds, 6000 people living without heat, electricity, proper
medical care, lack of food, children without school, vomiting, ill with diarrhoea; noxious air, barbed wire
injures, militarized police in riot gear, rubbish everywhere, broken shoes and torn up plastic sheeting?

some of what i saw on photographs, read, or gathered from the bizarre story of the headmaster who went there to teach
(in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/22/isle-of-wight-superhead-running-makeshift-school-for-refugees)
- it made me feel sick and ashamed; yes, much of EU/europe has had relatively secure comfort zones for a while; different story
of the former communist countries in the former east; comforts may be lesser, now, militarization likely; anxiety rising;
Ricardo's references to borderization (USA) are pertinent and of course bleak
(though there are different borders, and thus differently felt scenarios) - what do you mean, Ricardo, by suggesting that

<detention camp cultures  continue to be the standard... and profits are maximized?>

do you see the camps everywhere? 


Johannes Birringer



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