Wednesday 5 April, 6.30 – 7.15pm / Project Spaces, IMMA
Grainne Hassett, founding architect of The Calais Builds Project and Sarah Glennie, Director, IMMA – reflect on some of the most pertinent issues arising out of The Calais Builds Project that continue to drive Hassett’s work as an architect and educator as well as her ideas on the ethical responsibilities of architects and society at large, to contribute to the global refugee crisis.
This talks marks the presentation of Grainne Hassett’s The Calais Maps in IMMA’s Project Spaces from 29 March – 23 April 2017. The Calais Maps document the informal refugee camp which grew outside Calais town between 2015 and 2016. This is shown with footage with Drone Press. The map series shows political moments in the life of Calais refugee camp between 2015 and 2016. The refugee camp was an informal settlement, unsupported by local or national authorities, on an old landfill. It grew in population from 1500 in August 2015 to 10,000 in October 2016. Scant cold water taps, portaloos and temporary street lighting were provided. All other facilities on the maps were built by volunteer NGOs and refugees.
Hassett organised/built community infrastructure for the camp – a women’s and children’s centre, a therapy and community space, a vaccination unit and a youth centre. Whilst working, she mentally mapped social and physical processes. Following the brutal demolition of the south camp Hassett commenced the task of mapping to bear witness to a town disappeared. Highlighting the importance of architectural research through practice Hassett’s drawings speak about her work as a witness to address pertinent topics regarding the political, social and environmental issues which motivated her time at Calais. Drone Press filmed the footage in February/March 2016 immediately after the dismantling.
Talks in this series are programmed in partnership with the Irish Architecture Foundation and IMMA.