Director(s): Antarès BASSIS – Writer(s): Antarès BASSIS Contact Print page
40 kilometres away lies the small city of Grande- Synthe (20,000 inhabitants), which opened the first U.N.H.C.R. camp in France for 2,500 refugees in March 2016. In doing this, the mayor Damien Carême was in direct opposition to the government. He worked with two NGOs, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Utopia 56. Everyone was hoping that this new type of open and humane camp would become an example of what is possible.
Cyrille Hanappe, a social architect and professor at Paris-Belleville school, specialized in risk architecture, upon hearing about the site, wasted no time. Fascinated by this new camp, he promptly offered his expertise.
Over a period of 18 months, we’ll immerse ourselves in the evolution of this endeavour. What happens when a visionary architect looks at a refugee camp as if it were just another future neighbourhood in the city, and thinks that this ephemeral construction should be considered as an area, where a new community has moved in. Wouldn’t it open up a range of possibilities, for refugees who inhabit it, and for residents who are currently bewildered by their influx?