A day-long festival of the art, culture and architecture of the refugee crisis


01:00pm, Sunday, 12 June 2016


10:00pm, Sunday, 12 June 2016


Standard: £10
Concession: £8
Young Barbican: £5
Architecture Foundation Members £8 

This is a past event

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Papers is part of the London Festival of Architecture 2016

Media Partner


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A one-day festival of the art, culture and architecture of the refugee crisis.

This critical celebration will examine the creative and urban culture which has emerged from refugee camps across Europe. Bringing together refugee artists, musicians, poets, chefs and builders with a programme of discussions taking place on multiple stages throughout the day.

The festival is split across multiple venues in the Barbican arts centre in and around the remarkable conservatory – a large brutalist glasshouse.

The Discussions Stage

A mix of short presentation and panel discussion with some of the world's leading thinkers on refugee camps and migration. Panels will examine the built and cultural responses which have emerged from camps in Calais, Dunkirk, Lesvos, Lampedusa, Jordan and Turkey culminating in an open plenary discussion with all participants.


Opening ceremony


Jaz O'Hara

After visiting the Jungle camp in Calais in August 2015, Jaz wrote an emotional post about her experience that went viral. The subsequent outpouring of support enabled her to found The Worldwide Tribe. From galvanising a growing audience of over 55,000 to installing WiFi in Calais and Lesvos they work to build a better future for refugees.


Joseph Rkywert

Joseph Rykwert and his family fled Warsaw in 1939 and settled in London.  One of the world's preeminent architectural historians, he is the author of such classic books as The Idea of a Town (1963), On Adam's House in Paradise (1972) and The Seduction of Place (2000). He was the recipient of The Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 2014. 


The Art, Culture and Music of the Refugee Crisis

A panel discussion highlighting the role of cultural art forms within the crisis. 

  • Jaz O’Hara (chair), founder of the Worldwide Tribe: A creative communications platform with a two-pronged approach: raising awareness about the refugee crisis through social media and educational talks, whilst leading by example and running humanitarian projects on the ground in Calais in France, Lesvos in Greece and Izmir in Turkey.  
  • Phillipa Stanton, artist. Phillipa is a Brighton-Based contemporary abstract artist with a social media following of well over half a million. After spending time in the Jungle in Calais she produced a series of paintings, all exhibited as part of Papers today. She uses the huge community she has created, primarily through Instagram, to raise awareness about the Jungle and it’s residents. 
  • Hassan Akkad, Filmmaker. A Syrian refugee who filmed much of his treacherous journey, including his attempts to cross the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Lesvos, on a Go-Pro. The footage is currently being used as part of a 3-part series with BBC2 called The Exodus: One Million. He also received the only standing ovation for his reading at Letters Live this year and works closely with Grassroots organisation Help Refugees. 
  • Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy, Playwrights. Joe and Joe are two British Playwrights and founders of the Good Chance Theatre in the Calais Jungle. The theatre, a beautiful dome structure which was erected last October, successfully hosted a huge variety of creative activities, from writing workshops to music lessons, dance shows to acting classes and many many performances. Good Chance provides a safe and welcoming space for people to express themselves and unite through creativity.
  • Juliet Stevenson, Actress. Juliet is an actress of both stage and screen, best known for her role in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her and her son have spent a lot of time in the Calais Jungle and have made a film compiled of interviews with the residents of the camp they met there, which is also part of today’s programme. 
  • Suzy Partridge. Suzy is a visual artist who has spent as much time as possible in the Calais Jungle over the last year. She has produced beautiful work alongside refugees in the camp, including drawing round them to produce paper cutouts to first represent the 129 that went missing after the destruction of the Southern side of the camp. A follow up to this project sees Suzy coordinating the paper cut outs of men, women and children alike, both refugees and not, to demonstrate that we are all the same. This interactive project will be happening at Papers today so go and get involved!
  • Mohammed Omar (TBC). Mohammed is a talented poet Jaz first met in the Calais Jungle. He has since made it to the UK and continues to write beautifully about his treacherous journey, his experiences and his life. His poem, ‘Refugee in the Jungle,’ features at the beginning of The Worldwide Tribe film, Jangala, shown today at 5.30pm in the Garden Room. 
  • Beatrice Lorigan (TBC). Bea has been working closely alongside the Refugee Info Bus and The Worldwide Tribe in the Calais Jungle, on a variety of creative projects. Her community led journalism project which involved handing out polaroid cameras to refugees, allowing them to document their own daily lives, is being exhibited as part of Papers today. 


Richard Sennett

The Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Richard Sennett has written extensively on the subject of borders and the nature of cosmopolitan society.  His books include The Fall of Public Man (1977) and The Crafrsman (2008)


Marwa Al-Sabouni in conversation with Rachel Cooke

The Syrian architect and author who remained in Homs during the civil war speaks with the award-winning Observer features writer about her story and work.


Forensic Architecture

Lorenzo Pezzani presents the work he had led using architectural technology to map the sinking of boats carrying migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.  


The Role of the Architect

Robert Mull chairs a panel discussion asking what should be the responsibility of architecture in the face of mass migration and the refugee crisis. Panelists include Grainne Hassett of the Calais Builds, Ben Harrison and Eyal Weizmann of Forensic Architecture. 


10 Ideas to Address the Refugee Crisis

Ten speakers each present a 5-minute micro manifesto proposing an idea with the potential to make a positive impact on the people and places caught in the refugee crisis. The ten speakers include:

  • Jayden Ali, Kent Refugee Action 
  • Saskia Sassen, author of Expulsions and Territory, Authority, Rights
  • Jaz O'Hara, founder of The Worldwide Tibe
  • Merel Graeve 
  • Grainne Hassett, founder of The Calais Builds
  • Eyal Weizmann, 
  • Corinne Squire, UEL
  • Marwa Al-Sabouni, author of The Battle for Home, The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria
  • Alpha, artist and creator of The Blue House


Plenary: What next? 

An open discussion addressing the question of what next.



A festival-wide party in honour of the incredible projects and people which Papers is celebrating. Live music and a bar in the Barbican Conservatory.



The Garden Room

Music, film and discussion. This stage will incorporate a mix of live and recorded music with short films made about and by those at the epicentre of the crisis.


Film: This is Exile

Directed by Mani Benchelah, produced by Charly Feldman for MAKE Productions. Runtime: 56 minutes.


Media Representation of the refugee crisis

A panel discussion exploring the role the press plays in shaping narratives around refugees and migration. Curated by Cindy Palmano. 

  • Lisa Markwell (Chair) is a journalist and broadcaster. While editor of The Independent on Sunday, she endeavoured to keep the refugee crisis in the public eye. 
  • Golan Haji is a Syrian Kurdish poet and translator currently based in France. His latest poetry collection is titled Scale of Injury, and his latest translation is Alberto Manguel's A Reader on Reading.
  • Meltem Avcil is a refugee whose story has been told many times in the media, starting when she was just 13 years old and detained in Yarls Wood, and she will speak from the point of view of a woman who now wants to use the media in order to tell wider and stronger stories about migration.  Meltem now works on the Set Her Free campaign against immigration detention with Women for Refugee Women.
  • Jeremy Harding, a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, has been writing about refugees and migrants since the 1990s. His most recent book is Border Vigils: Keeping Migrants out of the Rich World.
  • Niall Martin is a journalist and TV producer at the Irish national TV station, RTE. He was editor of the morning news programme 'Morning Ireland' from 2000 to 2009 dealing in disaster, disease, death, economic collapse and occasionally pestilence. Now he works on the antidote to the news - a TV programme called 'Nationwide' which only deals in positive stories . Like the BBC Newsreader Martyn Lewis, he feels good news is as much part of the human experience as the awful stuff that happens.
  • Rossalyn Warren Rossalyn Warren is a senior news reporter for BuzzFeed News in London. She reports on world news, gender, and internet culture. She won News Reporter Of The Year by the 2015 Words By Women Awards and was shortlisted as New Journalist Of The Year by the 2015 British Journalism Awards.


Translating Compassion to Pragmatism

A panel discussion centered on volunteering responses to the refugee crisis. Curated by Cindy Palmano. 

  • Jeremy Harding (chair), a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, has been writing about refugees and migrants since the 1990s. His most recent book isBorder Vigils: Keeping Migrants out of the Rich World.
  • Baroness Sheehan is a Liberal Democrat, newly appointed to the House of Lords. Since becoming a Peer she has visited the camp in Calais several times and worked with others in the Lords to try to persuade the Government to make the conditions there more humane, and to put in place processes to assess claims so that unaccompanied minors can be reunited speedily with family members in the UK. Baroness Sheehan is herself an immigrant, having arrived in London in 1965 from Pakistan.
  • Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy are two British playwrights who established the Good Chance Theatre in the Jungle camp in Calais last September. Good Chance builds temporary theatres of hope, providing safe spaces for expression and uniting people through creativity.
  • Liz Clegg established the unofficial ‘Women and Children’s Shelter’ inside the Calais Jungle, which provides all-round support for hundreds of women, families, and unaccompanied minors. She recently spoke at the Women in the World Summit in New York, raising awareness about the plight of child refugees.
  • Ben Harrison lived and worked in the Calais Jungle for six months, where he coordinated the construction of shelters for almost all residents, prior to subsequent evictions and fires. He will begin studying at Yale University as an undergraduate this summer.
  • Lliana Bird is a radio DJ and broadcaster, currently on Radio X. In August 2015 she co-founded Help Refugees, which has since grown to be the biggest provider of aid in Calais and Dunkirk. Help Refugees has now expanded and works across Greece, France, Turkey, Lebanon and beyond, providing humanitarian aid, medical care and search & rescue. 
  • Rehab Jameel is originally from Sudan. Over the past ten years Rehab has been involved with many UK charitable organisations, particularly Women for Refugee Women, to facilitate refugees and asylum seekers’ integration, raise the voices of refugee women, and to fight against FGM that is still being practiced in some communities in the UK.




Above: The Blue House on the Hill by Alpha it its original site at The Jungle refugee camp in Calais


The Jungle

The Barbican's vast glass house will host a wide variety of art pieces and installations. It will become a gallery of the rich mix of strange and powerful art and activism which has come from or been made in response to refugee camps. A raised stage will host talks and spoken word performances, food will be served and making organisations will demonstrate their work live.

Jungle Stage


From the EU to Lampedusa: On Bordering and Resistance" by Dr. Giacomo Orsini & Dr Federica Mazzara

Dr Giacomo Orsini explains how Europe's external border management works to strengthen the myth of (migrants’) invasion while simultaneously providing the illusion of complete (border) closure and control – reinforcing the perception of Europe as a promised land.

Dr Federica Mazzara looks at the practices of resistance performed by and for migrants within and outside the island of Lampedusa, as to build a counter-narrative around the real actors of the global passage in the Mediterranean, subjects with power and voice.


Lapadusa's Cross

Dr. Cook will be discussing the British Museum’s acquisition of a Cross made by Lampedusa's carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, from pieces of a boat that was wrecked on 11 October, 2013 off the coast of Lampedusa. 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned en route from Libya to Europe. Inhabitants of Lampedusa helped to save the lives of 155 others. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished.


London Beyond Borders Football Tournament Presentation

Short talk by Football Beyond Borders and Fuze Beyond Borders describing their work in France and the UK. Fuze Beyond Borders' aims to bring together refugees and British volunteers by providing refugee camps in the Dunkirk region with material and nutritional aid as well as motivational and educational activities whilst Football Beyond Borders  believe that football is the most powerful tool in the world for inspiring young people to achieve their goals. The teams that participated in the London Beyond Borders Tournament organised by these two groups, will be presented and the winning team gifted a trophy.


Outpost Lampedusa

A broad and wide ranging conversation with a eclectic panel discussing the causes, effects and results of the crisis on Lampedusa. They will touch on the local islanders' attitudes, the humanitarian situation, as well as resulting responses. The panel’s varied expertise and experiences will help paint a picture of this isolated EU outpost-island and describe its quirks as well as its relevance. Audience participation is invited! Panel:


  • Dr Giacomo Orsini (University of Essex and Institute d'Etudes Européenne, Université Libre de Bruxelles )
  • Dr Federica Mazzara (University of Westminster, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures)
  • Dr Jill Cook (Deputy Keeper, Head of Prehistory, Dept Prehistory & Europe at The British Museum)
  • Lucy Wood (Artist)



"T06411" by Lucy Wood

Lucy Wood is a British artist whose fascination with border areas led her to Lampedusa. She will describe her work with T06411, a Tunisian fishing boat used to transport 36 trafficked North African migrants onboard to Lampedusa in March 2012.  She will discuss how and why she obtained the boat and set out on an epic 4000-mile solo voyage to London from the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.






Dr Giacomo Orsini (University of Essex and Institute d'Etudes Européenne, Université Libre de Bruxelles) 

Expertise in European external border management and policy gives him authority to talk about the macro causes and affects of the crisis. In his talk for Papers he explains how Europe's external border management works to strengthen the myth of (migrants’) invasion while simultaneously providing the illusion of complete (border) closure and control – reinforcing the perception of Europe as a promised land. Giacomo also exhibits his and Sardinian filmmaker Lorenzo Sibiriu's short film "Once the Sea Was Covered With Water" as part of Papers at the Barbican.

Dr Federica Mazzara (University of Westminster, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures) 

A Sicilian, Federica is researching artwork being produced from Lampedusa as a result of the crisis having previously researched migrant poetry and literature on mainland Italy. In Federica's talk she explores the practices of resistance performed by and for migrants within and outside the island of Lampedusa, as to build a counter-narrative around the real actors of the global passage in the Mediterranean, subjects with power and voice. 

Dr Jill Cook (Deputy Keeper, Head of Prehistory, Dept Prehistory & Europe at The British Museum) 

Jill was instrumental in bringing a cross made by Lampedusa resident carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, out of the remains of a refugee boat shipwrecked off Lampedusa. More than 300 people perished in that disaster prompting the Pope to visit the island where he used a cross to take mass. Francesco Tuccio has recorded a film especially for Papers explaining his reasons for creating the crosses and personal feelings regarding the ongoing issues.

Lucy Wood (Artist) 

Stayed on Lampedusa for a period of months where she secured possession of a Tunisian fishing boat T06411 used to transport 36 'clandestini' to Lampedusa. There she observed first-hand the local attitudes towards the migrants and refugees, the politics, and the unfolding humanitarian disaster. T06411 is exhibited on Silk Street, and Lucy's solo trip is described in her talk at 6pm.

Alessio Genovese (Photographer, journalist, filmaker) 

Alessio is from Trapani on Sicily, one of the most important processing centres for newly arrived refugees in Europe. Reporter and documentarist with extensive professional experience in the Middle East where he spent several years working in Palestinian refugees camps on projects concerning the promotion and respect of the rights of Palestinian refugees.  At Papers, Alessio exhibits a series of photographs documenting the journey to Europe made by refugees. Alessio's film shows the impact of these issues having previously exhibited sound installations documenting the sounds of the journey to Europe in the Venice Biennial.

Francesco Tuccio (Carpenter) 

Tuccio is the Lampedusan resident carpenter. In his film made especially for Papers he describes his work making Lampedusa Crosses from pieces of shipwrecked boats washed up and dumped acrimoniously on this rock on the southern extreme border of Europe. His cross was blessed and used by Pope Francis when he visited the island to conduct a memorial service.

Maya Ramsay (Artist)

Maya Ramsay exhibits a found object entitled 'Flee'. Maya works with historically and politically important sites, often those involving conflict. 'Flee' was shortlisted for the Artraker Award for conflict in 2014.

Football Beyond Borders & Fuze Beyond Borders (Charities) 

These are education charities using sport and the power of football to inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their goals and make their voices heard. FBB do this by putting a young person’s passion for football at the heart of their educational experience. Fuze have worked extensively at the less-well reported refugee camp in Dunkirk. The two organisations talk to Papers about their work and the London Beyond Borders football tournament that they are putting on for refugee youths at Finsbury Leisure Centre.

The Calais Builds

Led by Grainne Hassett, The Calais Builds have created a number of key projects at the refugee camp in Calais including the youth centre, vaccination centre and women and children's centre. They are exhibiting an exhibition of their work with 1:1 prototypes and drawings.

Calais Mapped

A mapping of the Calais migrant camp capturing how it has organically self-formed into a functioning townscape, with high streets, shops, places of worship and different residential areas. The map is co-created by London-based architecture students and is drawn from mediated images and information about the camp that are sourced through social media and the internet. It is, therefore, an imaginary and geographic map entwined. 

The Worldwide Tribe

Working across countries the worldwide tribe are engaged in many projects including installing robust wifi routers at refugee camps.

Sam Jacob Studio

A London based architecture practice whose contribution to the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale explored the permanance of suposedly temporary refugee camps.

The Refugee Phrasebook

The team behind a multilingual tool that provides basic useful vocabulary related to the most common immediate needs. 

Knit Aid

A social enterprise of kitters set up in response cold conditions in Calais now distributing to Dunkirk and various locations in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Knit Aid will be running workshops at Papers for whoever would like to stop by and learn to knit squares which will be stitched together to make blankets for refugee families.

Cartoon Kate

Kate Evans is an author and artist who works in large-format cartoons. A selection of her work will be on disaply at Papers.

The Hummingbird Project 

A remake of the art installation based on a parable, 'The Hummingbird and the Forest Fire', that started The Hummingbird Project- Calais and Dunkirk Aid and Solidarity one year ago.
Elaine Ortiz- Founder of the project wrote her pledge upon a leaf which was to help refugees in Calais and also refugees locally.
The Hummingbird Project is now one of the leading groups in the camp which provides weekly medical and youth services. Locally, the project is campaigning and using art as a form of activism and a voice for refugees. 


Refugee Info Bus

A live video link-up to the camp in Calais.

Refugee Rights Data Project, UEL

A project filling data gaps on efugees and displaced people in Europe. Key findings will be presented in a serires of sculpture infographics.

The Terrace

Hanging above the tropical plants of the jungle-like conservatory is the terrace, a platform which will play host to a mix of built prototype demonstrations, makers and food. 

Pineapple Island

The Kent Refugee Action Catering will be running a micro restaurant showing their work with asylum-seeking boys based in Folkstone.



Related event

This festival forms part of the Architecture Foundation’s exploration of the art, urbanism and conditions of migrant communities affected by the European refugee crisis, as part of the AF's programme for the London Festival of Architecture 2016. The screening Architecture on Film: Flotel Europa, a related event on 23 June, will explore these issues through the historical context of the 1992 Bosnian conflict.

Find out more

Football Tournament

Poster for the London Beyond Borders foodball tournament


11.30am until 2.15pm

London Byeond Borders Football Tournament

A five-a-side football tournament organised by Fuze Beyond Borders and Footbal Beyond Borders.

Finsbury Leisure Centre, Norman St, London EC1V 3PU



Please note some spaces have a limited capacity so admission may need to be limited to first-come-first-serve for espeically popular talks or performances.

Curated by Robert Mull with The Worldwide Tribe, Phineas Harper, Daniela Puga, Grainne Hassett, Jake Raslan, Jayden Ali, Esme Mull and Cindy Palmano.

Papers is a colaboration between The Architecture Foundation and Worldwide Tribe in partnership with the Barbican.

Index image by Suzanne Partridge
Splash image by Philippa Stanton